In Part II, I described how after hiring an attorney to represent Shana in a civil suit against CSU, the attorney’s behavior became very problematic. Not only was lack of communication a very big problem, but his behavior was described in a letter to the court as someone who was purposely trying to “sabotage this case”.
We contacted the attorney working for a law firm located in Chardon, Ohio, who had represented Shana during her Student Grievance Hearing to see if Shana could re-file and to see if he was willing to represent her. The attorney informed us before he could accept the case, he would first have to get permission from the State of Ohio to represent Shana in a civil suit against CSU. Now some have asked if we thought it was a good idea to hire an attorney who had to get permission from the State to sue a state protected agency (CSU), but because we had failed in our attempt to find a law firm in the Cleveland area willing to take on the case, and due to the fiasco caused by the other attorney and due to the statute of limitations, we felt we had no other choice. So in January 2014, the lawsuit against CSU was re-filed. Case Number: 2013-00025.
Something that happened that I found really suspicious was from the time the first lawsuit was filed by the first attorney charging CSU with 1) Race discrimination 2) Intentional infliction of emotional distress 3) Retaliation 4) Violation of due process 5) Breach of contract and 6) Knowingly making false statements about plaintiff, until the time Shana fired him, not once did the legal defense team for CSU file to have the case against CSU dismissed.
However, as soon as the case was re-filed by the second attorney, CSU’s legal defense team immediately filed to have the case dismissed against CSU. The first questions that came to mind were had something surreptitious been going on during the first filing of the lawsuit? What would have happened had we not checked the website? Would the case have been dismissed? And was that the hidden agenda all the time?’
Now as a side note I think it’s important to mention we wanted to re-file the lawsuit against CSU using the same counts as the first case excluding racial discrimination, however, the second attorney felt we had a better chance of winning by charging CSU with 1) Negligence 2) Breach of Contract and 3) Unjust Enrichment. We were insistent that the counts ‘violation of due process’ and ‘retaliation’ be added, so reluctantly he added 4) Violation of 42 U.S.C. §1983 (Due process), and advised Shana she would be able to speak on the retaliation once she went to trial.
So now that we felt the case was being handled properly, which according to our attorney could take up to one year before resolution, I knew as a parent I had an even tougher obstacle to overcome. They say if you fall off of a horse, it’s important that you get back on and ride; in other words to attempt the same challenging action after failure.
Although Shana had completed all 12 months of in-class lectures and assignments, all clinical patient assessment evaluations and had even passed the final exam required in this accelerated Nursing Program at CSU, I had to find a way to convince her to find another nursing program at another university and to start the process all over again. So, with many family members and friends praying for her, I was able to convince Shana to get up and get going again; reminding her if she quit and gave up her life’s dream of becoming a nurse, in the end she would be the loser and certain individuals the victor.
There’s a saying ‘When God closes one door he opens a window’. During her search for a new nursing program, Shana happened upon Baldwin Wallace University’s website, and read the University was accepting applications for a newly founded accelerated Nursing Program. To our delight, she applied and was accepted into the Program. Unfortunately, because Shana was at a different university did not mean there would be no issues.
Stay tuned to the next episode when I share our experience of going through the ‘discovery’ phase in preparing for trial.