LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – State District Judge Bill Sowder dismissed two Texas Tech Regents from the ongoing lawsuit between Mike Leach and the university. The decision means Regent Larry Anders and Jerry Turner cannot be held personally responsible if Leach were to win the lawsuit.
"We fully expected Judge Sowder to reach this decision regarding Regents Turner and Anders," said TTU's lead attorney in the case, Dicky Grigg.
Grigg continued, "This ruling is consistent with what we have previously said – Mike Leach's case has no basis, either factually or legally, and we are confident the Court of Appeals will dismiss the lone remaining claim against the university."
That lone claim is breach of contract. Texas Tech enjoys a legal concept called sovereign immunity, which means in most cases Texas Tech cannot be sued. This month Judge Sowder ruled that Texas Tech still enjoys sovereign immunity for most of Leach's claims. However, the ruling says Texas Tech lost immunity for breach of contract. That does not mean Sowder has officially concluded there was breach of contract. It means Leach can pursue that claim in his lawsuit.
Leach was fired in late December amid claims that he mistreated player Adam James. Leach has steadfastly denied any mistreatment.
Leach's lawyer on Wednesday responded to the judge's ruling. Ted Liggett says, "While we respectfully disagree with Judge Sowder's decision regarding regents Turner and Anders, we appreciate his diligence in this matter."
Liggett continues, "Dicky Gregg's repeated refrain begs the question: what is he afraid of? If … our case has no merit, why not take it to the courthouse. We are ready for a jury trial."
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