LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – The author and publisher of Katina Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” has filed a counterclaim against several University of Louisville students and their attorney, claiming the group was trying to "extort" money and "gain notoriety" through a lawsuit they knew should have never been filed.
Last month, a Jefferson Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2015 on behalf of student Kyle Hornback, among others, ruling they had no standing to file a lawsuit alleging the Powell scandal had damaged the value of a degree from the school.
Judge Mitch Perry ruled that allowing their case to go forward would open up a chain of liability that could set a bad precedent.
“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.”
The lawsuit had been filed against Powell, IBJ Book Publishing and author Dick Cady. It had asked Powell and IBJ to pay any money contractually obligated to Powell for the book to the Jefferson County Circuit Court Receivers’ Office while the lawsuit is pending.
On June 10, attorneys for IBJ and Cady filed their own lawsuit against Hornback, other students and their attorney, Nader George Shunnarah, claiming the students simply were trying to “extort a monetary settlement and gain notoriety.” Powell was not named in the suit.
The new suit claims the students and Shunnarah did not have probable cause to file the suit and “did not reasonably believe the facts they alleged,” according to the counterclaim.
And the counterclaim notes that Shunnarah did not withdraw the lawsuit even after UofL “had acknowledged that its investigation had identified violations by its basketball program” and announced a self-imposed postseason ban on the basketball team.
UofL President Jim Ramsey “determined that it was reasonable to conclude the violations had occurred in the men’s basketball program in the past,” according to the suit.
IBJ and Cady are asking for unspecified monetary damages, including attorney’s fees.
Hornback had claimed that Powell’s “malicious, willful, wanton, and outrageous” actions have limited her 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 and other students names had been added as plaintiffs.
J. Bart McMahon, an attorney for Powell, said he will not be filing a counterclaim on her behalf.
Shunnarah has said the students will appeal, but not until other claims against Powell have made their way through court.
In an interview on Monday, he said his clients have a "constitutional right to file a lawsuit" and "I believe when it's all said and done, we will be vindicated."
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.
Powell alleges that former UofL staffer and player Andre McGee asked her to arrange for women to satisfy players and recruits.
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