Judge dismisses lawsuit filed by UofL students against Katina Powell
However, Judge Mitch Perry did allow another part of the lawsuit to continue. Several woman depicted in the book wearing lingerie and dancing at parties in Minardi Hall have claimed they were defamed and had nothing to do with the parties.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – A Jefferson Circuit Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by University of Louisville students against Katina Powell and her publisher, which claimed Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," has damaged the value of a degree from the school.
Judge Mitch Perry ruled that plaintiff Kyle Hornback and other students have no standing and allowing their case to go forward would open up a chain of liability that could be taken advantage of by future students.
“A current or future student could potentially bring a claim against a university for virtually any negative assertion which has a real or imagined impact on that student’s education,” Perry ruled. “Allowing this claim to go forward would allow these plaintiffs to drastically expand the avenues of civil liability and recovery in the commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Hornback had claimed that Powell’s “malicious, willful, wanton, and outrageous” actions have limited Hornback’s ability to find a job after graduation and pay back student loans.
The suit was seeking class action status on behalf of the student body at UofL.
J. Bart McMahon, an attorney for Powell, said she is “happy with the partial order of dismissal as to the students’ claims. Ms. Powell will seek to recover attorney fees and damages from the student-plaintiffs and their counsel for their abuse of the civil process."
Attorney George Nader Shunnarah, who represents Hornback and the other UofL students, said he respects Perry but "we just have a professional difference of opinion."
Shunnarah said the students will appeal, but not until other claims against Powell have made their way through court.
A lawsuit filed by six women who claim they were defamed by being depicted in the book wearing lingerie and dancing at parties in Minardi Hall was allowed by Perry to continue.
"We will start with discovery and go forward with that case," Shunnarah said.
The women are claiming that the statements about them in the book are defamatory and Perry ruled that, “there could be a set of facts under which they would be able to” win the lawsuit.
Larry Wilder, an attorney for Powell, said in a statement that "after we depose the dancers and other witnesses we will be able to establish that Katina did nothing that damaged their character or reputation. Truth is an absolute defense to the claims of defamation."
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