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Judge drops fraternity’s suit against Miami

Campus Editor

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 22:02

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit for $10 million in damages against Miami University by the Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Tau (Phi Tau) Monday Feb. 4. The fraternity filed the lawsuit after Miami suspended Phi Tau in August.

This lawsuit came as the result of the fraternity’s temporary suspension after August 19 when members of Phi Kappa Tau, along with members of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, were caught igniting fireworks inside the fraternity houses and in possession of illegal drugs.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, which means that the lawsuit cannot be filed again.

The Phi Tau national fraternity dismissed its stake in lawsuit against Miami in September.

Phi Tau remains under suspension until August, according to Claire Wagner director of University Communications.

Wagner said Miami agreed with Dlott’s decision to dismiss the case.

“The University is pleased with this dismissal,” Wagner said. “We had filed that it should be dismissed without merit because we went forward acting after having done an investigation through our Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution.”

The lawsuit contained six causes of action.

The first stated that the university discriminated against individual members of the fraternity and their equal education opportunity.

The second cause of action said the university violated the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The third cause of action claimed breach of contract. This cause stated the university violated the contract between Miami and Phi Kappa Tau National Fraternity when it revoked members’ second year live-in exemption without “just cause.”

Steve Hartman, chief executive officer of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and foundation could not be reached by press time.

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