Capella University settles counterclaim lawsuit against former learner
MINNEAPOLIS, January 15, 2009 - Capella University has agreed to settle its counterclaim lawsuit claiming defamation and interference with business relationships against a former Capella student named Jeffry La Marca.
Mr. La Marca had sued Capella claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That lawsuit arose out of difficulties La Marca claimed he encountered when Capella converted its courseroom to a new learning platform. After a five day trial in November 2007, the U.S. District Court dismissed La Marca's claims finding that Capella had not engaged in any sort of discrimination or retailiation against Mr. La Marca. Capella countersued claiming defamation and interference with business relations.
The lawsuit on Capella's counterclaims was scheduled to begin on January 13, 2009. The settlement agreement states that Mr. La Marca will relinquish ownership of all his Web sites to Capella. In addition, he has agreed to cease all further activities referencing Capella and has withdrawn his appeal of the decision in the lawsuit he brought against Capella for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Mr. La Marca has also issued an apology that will be posted on Capella’s Web sites. Mr. La Marca received no compensation in exchange for the settlement.
“Capella is pleased with the settlement agreement and that Mr. La Marca’s Web sites, blogs and other postings on the Internet, which Capella believes were designed to harm Capella’s reputation, will be removed,” said Steve Shank, Capella’s chairman and CEO.