Thursday, May 26, 2005

Puerto Rican student wins $601,000 jury award

Dan Herbeck:

Carlos Bayon

In his lawsuit, Bayon accused members of the UB anthropology faculty of giving him low grades in 1997 to retaliate against him for filing a number of discrimination complaints against them. A native of Puerto Rico who walks slowly with a cane, Bayon said those low grades - a D and a C in two key courses - caused him to lose his financial assistance and forced him to leave graduate school at UB.

Ultimately, Judge John T. Elfvin dismissed the discrimination complaints based on race, nationality and disability, but he allowed Bayon's retaliation complaint to go to trial. The verdict was awarded in Elfvin's court May 5.

"The jury's award was for retaliation, not discrimination," said Bayon's court-appointed Buffalo attorney, Robert G. Scumaci. "When Carlos filed his discrimination complaint, his right to file a complaint was protected by federal law. The law protects him from retaliation."

A state attorney, Ann C. Williams, has asked Elfvin to overturn the verdict. In court papers, Williams said the only reason for Bayon's problems at UB was his own "poor academic performance."

Former UB student wins major settlement against university

Ex-Grad Student Awarded $601,000

Former UB students wins major settlement against university

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