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Judge Throws Out Parts of UMD Discrimination Lawsuit

Updated: February 01, 2018 06:41 PM

A federal judge has dismissed parts of a federal discrimination lawsuit against the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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Former Women's Hockey Coach Shannon Miller, Women's Basketball Coach Annette Wiles, and Softball Coach Jen Banford filed the lawsuit against UMD in 2015, alleging sexism and homophobia led to their departures. The coaches had also alleged that they experienced a hostile work environment and made claims under the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

The university filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal last fall, and Judge Patrick J. Schiltz partially granted the motion Thursday.

The judge threw out all of the claims from Wiles and Banford and some of the claims from Miller, including the claims of a hostile work environment and violations of the Equal Pay Act. However, the judge allowed Miller's claims of Title VII discrimination and Title IX retaliation to go to trial.

"The University believes the evidence clearly shows there was no discrimination and we will aggressively defend ourselves at trial," said Tim Pramas, University of Minnesota Senior Associate General Counsel.

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on March 6 in Duluth.

"The judge's ruling is encouraging and we are pleased. UMD leadership continues to be proud of our Bulldog athletics program and are confident that our legal team will present a strong and compelling case at the trial," said UMD spokesperson Lynn Williams.

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