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Court of Appeals Rules Against Former UMD Coaches

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling against Annette Wiles, Jen Banford, and Shannon Miller, seen with their attorneys. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling against Annette Wiles, Jen Banford, and Shannon Miller, seen with their attorneys. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Updated: September 03, 2019 11:40 AM

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has denied an appeal from three former University of Minnesota Duluth coaches seeking to have their lawsuit against the Board of Regents reinstated.

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Shannon Miller, Annette Wiles, and Jen Banford alleged that they were treated differently because of their gender and sexual orientation.

The coaches had originally sued the Regents in federal court.  In 2018, they filed a state lawsuit after a federal court ruled that some of their claims had to be heard in state court.

However, a state court dismissed the coaches' Minnesota Human Rights Act and equal-pay claims because they were not filed within the statute of limitations.  It also dismissed claims filed inder the Minnesota whistleblower act, finding that the claims were barred by a provision of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

The appeals court ruling on Tuesday affirmed the lower court ruling dismissing the coaches' suit.

The coaches had unsuccesfully argued that the time their case was pending in federal court should not have counted toward the statute of limitations.

In the federal case, a 2018 jury verdict awarded Miller $744,832 in past lost wages and benefits and $3 million in past emotional distress.  In 2019, a judge granted Miller an additional $461,000 for front pay and future benefits.

NOTE: This item has been corrected to reflect that the ruling was made by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, not the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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