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New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

Selected Topics: Ethics Conflicts of Interest
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Retaliation; Faculty & Staff; Conflicts of Interest; Retaliation; Sex Discrimination; Ethics; Discrimination, Accommodation, & Diversity

Simpson v. Vanderbilt Univ. (6th Cir. May 22, 2017)

Order affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment to Vanderbilt University. Plaintiff, a former faculty member at Vanderbilt's School of Medicine, was terminated for founding and running a private consulting corporation while continuing to work at Vanderbilt in violation of the University’s conflict-of-interest policy. She filed a sex discrimination suit against the University, claiming that male employees who engaged in outside consulting were not terminated, that Vanderbilt only took issue with her consultation work after she complained of gender discrimination, and that the University’s investigation and subsequent termination of her employment were retaliatory. The district court granted summary judgment to Vanderbilt on Plaintiff’s claims for failure to identify a similarly-situated male colleague and failure to make a prima facie showing of sex discrimination. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed.  

5/23/2017
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Conflicts of Interest; Retaliation

Simpson v. Vanderbilt (M.D. Tenn., Mar. 16, 2016)

Order and opinion by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granting Defendant Vanderbilt University's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff Jean Simpson was employed as a faculty member specializing in breast pathology at Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine until she was terminated for performing diagnostic breast pathology consults through an external corporation that she founded while continuing to work at Vanderbilt. Simpson filed suit, asserting that male employees who engaged in outside consulting were not terminated from their employment, that Defendant only took issue with her consultation work after she complaints of gender discrimination, and that Defendant's investigation and subsequent termination of her employment were retaliatory. The Court found Defendant entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff's employment claims, concluding that Simpson failed to identify any similarly-situated male colleague to support a prima facie case of sex discrimination, and that even if she had, she was unable to demonstrate that her termination was a pretext for discrimination due to the fact that she violated University conflict-of-interest policies and made no effort to remedy her policy violations.
3/17/2016
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