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Durham judge dismisses Duke grad's suit

A recent Duke grad's attempt to sue the University over a failing grade failed to impress a Durham judge earlier this week, the News & Observer reported Friday.

Superior Court Judge J.B. Allen dismissed the case that Tiffany Lynette Locus, Trinity '07,  filed last year against Charles Thompson, education and curriculum director for the Center for Documentary Studies Monday. The suit also named various other Duke administrators including President Richard Brodhead, Provost Peter Lange, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta and Director of Judicial Affairs Stephen Bryan.

Locus alleged that she suffered emotional distress--in the form of severe depression and anxiety attacks--after Thompson accused of her cheating on her final paper and unfairly gave her an F in his "Who Cares and Why: Social Activism and Its Motivations" course. Locus contended that the discrepancies in that paper were due to false information she received from a woman she interviewed for the project.

The lawsuit requested punitive damages of more than $10,000 and for Locus' grade in the class to be changed to passing.

Judge Allen, however, was not convinced by the arguments of James Locus, Tiffany's father, that Duke violated a contractual agreement in assigning Locus the "F."

Locus's lawsuit is the second against the University to be dismissed this month. U.S. District Court Judge Wallace Dixon dismissed Andrew Giuliani's lawsuit against Duke May 20 when he too alleged breach of contract after being released from the golf team.

Check back at dukechronicle.com for more updates.

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