February 12, 2008
Summary Judgment Improper In Title IX Suit
The Court of Appeals Division I of the State of Washington held that the superior court had erred in granting summary judgment on behalf of the University of Washington in a Title IX suit brought by a student assistant equipment manager of the school's football team. The plaintiff had reported an allegation of rape against a prominent member of the team (who is now an NFL player). The suit "alleges that the actions of UW officials following the report of the rape, deprived [the plaintiff] of her right to be free from sex discrimination in educational programs..." The court found sufficient evidence to have the claim submitted to a jury:
"it must be kept in mind that [plaintiff] seeks damages resulting only from the university's own actions. The concern in [an earlier case], that a single act of inappropriate elementary school mischief might result in liability to a public school, is not present here. [Plaintiff] did not have to be raped twice before the university was required to appropriately respond to her requests for remediation and assistance. In the Title IX context, there is no 'one free rape.' "
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