Court Reinstates Students’ Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit Against Pharmacy College

A federal appellate court has reinstated a Title IX lawsuit in which several former students accuse Albany College of Pharmacy of breach of contract, retaliation, and sexual harassment, Courthouse News Service reports. A history of the case in an opinion issued on Monday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit goes back to 1998, when Daniel Papelino, then a student, complained of sexual harassment by a professor, Deanne Nowak. Weeks after his complaint, Ms. Nowak spearheaded an investigation that eventually determined that Mr. Papelino and his two roommates had cheated on exams. Mr. Papelino and one roommate were expelled, and another roomate was allowed to retake an exam. A state court ruled in 2001 that the professor’s “statistical” evidence of cheating was insufficient and that the college’s punishment of the three men was “arbitrary and capricious” and lacked a “rational basis.” The three then sued for retaliation, sexual harassment, and breach of contract. Monday’s decision allows those claims to go forward.

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