Canadian woman files lawsuit against FMU
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 22:23:08 GMT —
Kathleen Helmeczy filed a lawsuit against Francis Marion University (FMU) in July after she was expelled in April, which could ultimately lead to her deportation back to Canada since she is not enrolled in school.
H.Michael Spivey, Helmeczy's lawyer, argues his client was wrongfully dismissed by the school based on gossip and lies about an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old boy.
The lawsuit says Helmeczy was never involved with the teenager.
The suit says her professor, peers and a university board member bullied, harassed and discriminated against her.
"There was no reason, she should have been kicked out of school. She was academically excelling. She was not in any kind of criminal trouble and she hasn't violated any policies."
She was also fired from the campus daycare because of the false accusations levied against her.
Helmeczy's attorneys filed a motion for an Emergency Declaratory Judgement Hearing in effort to ger her reinstated into the University.
Helmeczy is from Canada and had been studying in the school's graduate psychology program on student VISA since last year, until she was expelled in April.
"If she's not enrolled. She'll be sent back to Canada," said Spivey.
Circuit Court Judge Thomas Russo ruled against reinstating her into the University. Her attorney says she'll likely have to head back to Canada next week.
Spivey tells NewsChannel 15 he intends to pursue the lawsuit and believes they'll win.
The lawsuit accuses the university of civil conspiracy, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, retention and supervision of the university's psychology board and professor, lack of institutional control, breach of confidentiality, and wrongful expulsion.
Helmeczy is seeking punitive damages.
Attorneys for the University say Helmeczy went through a long and fair appeal process with the college, before her appeal was denied.
They didn't speak on the facts of the case during the hearing, but told the judge they recently got the case and needed more time.
A spokesperson for Francis Marion University says they can't comment on the lawsuit because it involves a student dismissal issue.