Saiber Prevails on Behalf of Higher Education Client

News & Insights

Saiber Prevails on Behalf of Higher Education Client

November 19, 2017

Saiber attorneys Sean R. Kelly, John F. Finnegan III, and Monvan Hu successfully obtained dismissal of most claims in a lawsuit brought in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey by a former graduate student against a major university and several of its faculty and administrators.

The former student’s ten-count Complaint alleged that the university wrongfully terminated his Ph.D.-track status.  Saiber moved at the outset of the case to dismiss six counts of the Complaint:  (i) five State-law tort claims, because Plaintiff failed to comply with the notice requirements of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. § 59:1-1, et seq.; and (ii) a claim alleging violation of New Jersey’s anti-bullying laws, because the referenced statutes do not create a private right of action.

On November 1, 2017, Federal Judge Esther Salas granted Saiber’s motion and dismissed the Plaintiff’s tort claims, holding that the student failed to file a “notice of claim”, as required under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, within 90 days of accrual of the claim.  Judge Salas also dismissed the student’s State anti-bullying claim, finding that the New Jersey law does not recognize such a private cause of action.

The decision disposes of most of the claims against the university itself, as well as all of the claims against the university’s employees.