Court denies UC request to dismiss claims in Title IX lawsuit
November 13, 2015 2:37 am
A state court ruled Nov. 4 UCLA is required to respond to Title IX complaints even if harassment stops after the report is filed, in response to a pending Title IX case two UCLA students filed in June.
Nefertiti Takla and Kristen Glasgow, both doctoral candidates in history, filed a lawsuit against the University of California Board of Regents in June. The lawsuit alleged that UCLA officials did not adequately respond to complaints that history professor Gabriel Piterberg sexually harassed the women.
In late September, the UC asked the court to dismiss some claims in the lawsuit because UC officials believed they adequately responded to Takla’s complaints. They added Piterberg did not pose a threat to Takla because he stopped harassing her after she reported the incidents.
The court decided UCLA is still responsible for addressing all Title IX complaints because students are still vulnerable to harassment, regardless of whether it has stopped in the meantime.
However, the court dismissed Glasgow’s claims that UCLA failed to properly supervise and train Piterberg, because public universities such as UCLA are not liable for their employees’ actions.
The students’ attorney said in an email statement they think the decision makes seeking a resolution under Title IX safer for victims of sexual assault, because they no longer have to put themselves in harm’s way.
UCLA officials said in an email statement they are committed to providing a harassment-free environment and ensuring a fair process in reporting sexual assault, but declined to comment on the decision.
The next court date has not been scheduled.
Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.