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- The gift of education
Judge denies former TKE member’s injunction
Suspended sophomore will not return to campus this semester
Judge Jack Fischer denied sophomore John Demoulas’ temporary injunction to return to Quinnipiac for the remainder of the spring semester. Demoulas is one of the former Tau Kappa Epsilon members suspended for the hazing allegations that got the fraternity kicked off campus.
As a result, Michael Lynch, one of Demoulas’ attorneys, said they are following through with the lawsuit against the university and four specific university officials.
Throughout the hearing and prior to it, Lynch said the main priority was to get Demoulas back into school. But Fischer’s ruling coincides with the original decision of the university to suspend Demoulas until the fall 2015 semester.
In order to be issued the temporary injunction, Demoulas and his attorneys had to prove there had been a breach of contract, Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUPTA) infraction, violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The judge granted the claims for breach of contract, CUPTA, and violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. But the judge did not believe Demoulas and his attorneys proved there was intentional infliction of emotional distress. So despite meeting three of the four necessary criteria to be granted the temporary injunction, Demoulas was denied the injunction.
But Lynch said he hopes the lawsuit will bring out the truth and Demoulas will be granted the damages he deserves.
“Our intention and our hope is that we can have a productive conversation with Quinnipiac and get this sorted out,” Lynch said. “There has to be recognition that John’s career is being delayed because of the school’s actions.”
Lynch said their focus for the lawsuit will be that Demoulas has now suffered more damages by not being allowed to return to Quinnipiac and he is hopeful that a jury will agree.
“In a nutshell, my reading of the court decision was that the judge found that we’d proven enough to convince him that there were real problems with the procedure,” Lynch said. “Basically, the judge said if this was put to a jury, he believes that the jury would find in our favor.”
Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs at Quinnipiac, gave a statement saying the university was satisfied with the judge’s decision not to allow Demoulas back into school for the spring semester.
“Quinnipiac is pleased with the court’s decision in favor of the university, allowing the results of its student conduct process to remain in place,” Bushnell said. “The university will remain vigilant in disciplining any students involved in hazing.”
But Lynch does not believe Bushnell’s statement is fair.
“I disagree strongly with that,” Lynch said. “The judge found that Quinnipiac didn’t give John proper fundamental fairness. The judge saw this [hearing] as a bit of a close call, so I think that [statement is] interesting phraseology.”
As for the lawsuit, Lynch said it is his hope that Quinnipiac will be willing to come to an agreement with Demoulas and his attorneys without having to put Demoulas through the emotional distress of a full-blown trial.
“If I have conversations with Quinnipiac, it will be subject to a confidentiality agreement,” Lynch said. “But right now that would be wishful thinking.”