LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A judge says fired Coach Mike Leach can sue Texas Tech after all. The university is immune from lawsuit on all issues except one.
The university can be sued for breach of contract. From Leach's point of view, it would be seen overall as a victory. Leach's legal team claims that just for the contract, Leach is owed more than $9 million.
The Texas Tech legal team released a statement about the ruling. The statement reads:
Statement from Texas Tech Attorney Dicky Grigg following June 1 Rulings:
"We are pleased that the judge ruled in favor of Texas Tech University on six of the seven counts of this lawsuit. We are confident the Court of Appeals will dismiss the remaining claim against the university."
We fully expected the judge to reach this decision regarding Kent Hance, Guy Bailey, Charlotte Bingham and Gerald Myers, and we expect the Regents to be dismissed at a later date.
Mike Leach and his legal team also released a statement about the ruling. The statement reads:
PRESS RELEASE FROM MIKE LEACH
We are gratified that the Court ruled in Mr. Leach's favor today and denied Texas Tech's Plea to the Jurisdiction on the contract claim filed against Texas Tech. We greatly appreciate the hard work performed by Judge Sowder in taking the time to read all voluminous filings and consider the lengthy oral argument of all parties. We also wish to thank all of the thousands of people who have supported Mike during this difficult period.
The Court's most recent ruling validates Mr. Leach's legal position. While we understand Texas Tech's desire to enforce the defense of sovereign immunity, we do not understand Tech's continued refusal to acknowledge its obligations to Mike Leach especially in light of Judge Sowder's ruling. To date, Texas Tech has refused to pay Mike more than $2.0 million owed to him under his contract for the work he performed during 2009. We understand that Texas Tech may consider appealing Judge Sowder's ruling.
However, Tech has been proven wrong in its legal predictions and positions and we believe the Court of Appeals will uphold Judge Sowder's ruling.
Over the last 6 months it has become obvious to us that the Texas Tech decision-makers are the same ones who have created a multi-million dollar exposure for Texas Tech in this case. It appears to us that these conflicted persons are acting out of emotion instead of reason and logic. Hopefully, in light of today's ruling, the non-conflicted members of the Board of Regents of Texas Tech will take the emotion out of this dispute. Specifically, we hope these independent Regents will perform their obligations by asking the tough questions that need to be asked of the other Regents and administrators who created this unfortunate situation.
While Mike is very happy that he will now have the opportunity to present his case to a jury, he recognizes that the last 6 months have been very distressful for the students, alumni, and Texas Tech family. Now that an independent judge has ruled on the threshold issue of sovereign immunity, we hope that Texas Tech will take this opportunity to objectively re-evaluate its position.
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