Case name: Gangitano v. Cabrillo College, et al., No. 17‐CV‐02870 (N.D. Cal. 09/20/17).Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California dismissed a Title IX claim against Cabrillo College.What it means: To state a Title IX claim against a college because of a faculty member's sexual harassment of a student, a plaintiff must allege that (1) a college official with the authority to implement corrective measures had actual knowledge of the harassment and (2) the college was deliberately indifferent to it.Summary: In the spring of 2016, Cabrillo College student Gabrielle Gangitano became a “Supplemental Instructor” for Professor Alex Taurke. According to Gangitano, Taurke soon began to make suggestive comments to her.At a May meeting in Taurke's office, he allegedly moved his chair close to Gangitano in such a way that their knees and thighs were touching. He also purportedly stroked the side of her face.Gangitano stopped working for Taurke and filed a suit claiming violations of Title IX. In support of her claim, she alleged that Cabrillo failed to: (1) sufficiently train and supervise Taurke and (2) comply with a U.S. Department of Education regulation that required an adequate grievance procedure for sexual harassment reports.Cabrillo filed a motion to dismiss.The district judge said Gangitano had not alleged any facts plausibly suggesting that Cabrillo had actual knowledge of any sexual harassment committed by Taurke. He also ruled that the failure of a college to comply with that U.S. Department of Education regulation didn't establish the requisite actual notice.The judge dismissed the claim but allowed Gangitano a chance to amend her complaint.LAWSUITS & RULINGSThis regular feature summarizes recent court or agency records of interest to higher ed administrators.Lawsuit court records are summarized by Richard H. Willits, Esq. (You may contact him at email@example.com.)FPCO and OCR rulings are summarized by Aileen Gelpi, Esq., co‐editor.
Campus Legal Advisor – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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