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Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Duke University

A former parking attendant at Duke is now allowed to pursue a lawsuit against the university, stemming from a 2008 incident that cost him his job.

The Duke Chronicle reports that Brian Wilkerson is permitted to move forward with the lawsuit against Duke, specifically the Duke University Police Department. The ruling came through the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which reversed the 2012 decision by Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson to dismiss the original litigation.

Named in the suit is Christopher Day, a former officer with the University police department. In July of 2008, Wilkerson had been stationed outside a hospital parking lot at the university, with instructions to admit University police officers only in the event of an emergency. Day approached him for entrance, and Wilkerson refused to admit him.

It was the start of a physical altercation between the two men.

According to the Chronicle, Wilkerson said in a deposition, “He [Day] pointed at my face and asked me for my information, and then that’s when I asked him nicely not to point at my face. That’s when he pulled me and tried to grab me.”

The lawsuit cites a history of angry behavior, according to Day’s performance evaluations on the job. Wilkerson claims this proves that the University knew about Day’s aggressive tendencies.

Following the fight, Day issued Wilkerson a notice of trespassing that prohibited the parking attendant from being on the campus. Since Wilkerson couldn’t report to work, the notice led to dismissal from his job.

Charges in the lawsuit include assault, battery, false imprisonment, and negligent supervision and retention. Wilkerson abandoned further claims of negligence and public stigmatization when appealing Judge Hudson’s decision on the original lawsuit.

Day seeks an unspecified amount in punitive and compensatory damages.

If you or a loved one is wrongfully fired or experiencing workplace issues, our Raleigh attorneys may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Kelly & West to discuss the details of your case today.

Please Note: Kelly & West is not representing any parties involved in this case

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