They say you can’t fight City Hall, and for the most part I grew up believing that. Believing that the cards are somewhat stacked against you if you’re not rich, famous or a political figure. I believed standing up to the system was nothing more than a waste of one’s time and money.
But sometimes things happen to someone or something that you care about that are so unfair, unbelievable and outrageous, that the anger inside of you boils over and you say “screw it, I’ll see you in court!”
Such was the case for our family which started with an incident in December of 2011 and continues even today, years later. We would like to share with the public our experience of what happens when a common person stands up to local government. We will break our true story into several parts.
We would like to start off by saying our daughter, Shana, filed a lawsuit against Cleveland State University in 2012, and then re-filed in 2013 after hiring a different attorney. The Asst. Attorney General representing CSU requested a summary judgment, and only days before the pre-trial was to begin the Judge granted this request, and ruled in favor of CSU. So, after preparing for almost 1 ½ years for trial and spending over $11,000.00 in legal fees, our daughter was not allowed a trial nor was she able to face her accusers in a court of law.
Now I’ll admit law isn’t my profession. But from what I’ve read in order to succeed in a motion for summary judgment, the person requesting a summary judgment must show 1) there are no disputed material issues of fact and 2) the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Well, there were indeed disputed material issues of fact. Some CSU faculty members were claiming Shana had committed some very serious offenses, and Shana was denying all of these accusations. Therefore, this suggests a summary judgment should not have been granted, but like I said, law isn’t my profession. This was just one of the many unbelievable occurrences involving the lawsuit against CSU.
Please read our entire story and if you find things that screams UNBELIEVABLE, we ask that you share our story with as many of your friends and family members as possible.
In the beginning…
In 2011, Shana was enrolled in an accelerated Nursing Program at Cleveland State University and doing extremely well. Having already earned three (3) degrees, Associates in Science, Associates in Art, and Bachelors in Health Science, it was just a matter of months before she would graduate with her degree in Bachelors of Science of Nursing, test for the NCLEX exam, pass, get a job and begin earning a living.
Having completed 12 months of classroom lectures, homework assignments, and clinical evaluations, Shana had completed the final evaluation on what would have been her last patient in this Program and was looking forward to Christmas break. After the break she was excited about returning to complete her final five (5) months of shadowing before graduating from the Nursing Program. But this was not to be!
On December 8, 2011, Shana was instructed to report to the office of the Director of Undergraduate Programs, where she was handed a letter dismissing her immediately from the Program on the grounds of ‘alleged misconduct’ –
- Endangering the welfare of a patient
- Falsifying a patient’s medical records
- Lying to her instructor and the assigned nursing staff
Shana was informed her last patient had claimed Shana had not completed all required testing, therefore, the information noted in the medical chart by Shana was considered ‘falsified’. Shana fervently denied these allegations and asked to have a meeting with her instructor and the patient, however, this request was denied.
Because Shana was never given an opportunity to be heard and was expelled from the Program, we immediately hired an attorney. In following CSU’s student handbook, we requested and were granted a hearing. On January 26, 2012, a hearing at CSU was conducted before the ‘Student Grievance Board’. Present beside the Student Grievance Board members were the CSU faculty who were accusing Shana of these serious offenses, their attorney, other CSU faculty, and the mediator. Shana’s attorney was not permitted to attend the hearing. Shana’s accusers submitted a seven (7) page document detailing the alleged incident. One page was the hand-written statement provided by the patient.
On February 3, 2012, the Student Grievance Board issued the following findings: 1) Shana’s dismissal was unwarranted (her accusers provided no proof she had committed any misconduct), and 2) Shana was not afforded her due process. The Student Grievance Board also noted they sensed animosity between the CSU faculty and Shana.
These findings were to be sent to the University’s President. We were ecstatic! We had hopes that Shana would be permitted to return to CSU to complete the Program and graduate with her class in a few months. Unfortunately, the President of CSU refused to reinstate her, siding instead with the School of Nursing. So, having completed 12 months of the Program and with only a few months remaining, Shana was given an ‘F’ in the class and no longer permitted to participate in the Program.
Stay tuned to the next episode when we share our experience with trying to find legal representation when suing a state protected agency