ILNews

Student kicked out of IU medical school loses on breach of contract claim

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Ohio man who was in his third year at Indiana University School of Medicine when he was dismissed for allegedly cheating couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn summary judgment for the school on his breach of contract claim.

Three professors saw Peter F. Amaya repeatedly glance to his right during a mini-block examination in March 2010 and believed he was cheating. Amaya denied he cheated, claiming he was looking up at a clock on the wall. At a show cause hearing before the Student Promotions Committee, Amaya made a PowerPoint presentation and provided other materials to support his claim.

A field test conducted in the testing room concluded the professors could tell when a student was looking up at the clock or over at another student’s exam. In June 2010, the SPC recommended Amaya be dismissed for failure to maintain acceptable professional standards; the SPC declined to reverse its recommendation, and the school’s dean, D. Craig Brater, upheld the dismissal.

Amaya sued on several grounds, with his claims of breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing the only issues before the Court of Appeals. The trial court granted summary judgment for the medical school on these claims in April 2012.

After finding the claim for breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing doesn’t apply to this case, the judges upheld summary judgment on the breach of contract claim in Peter F. Amaya v. D. Craig Brater, M.D., in his capacity as Dean and Director of Indiana University School of Medicine; The Board of Trustees of Indiana University; et al., 49A04-1204-PL-208.

“… even assuming that an implied contract existed between Amaya and IUSM, and even assuming that IUSM failed to strictly follow the procedures outlined in all its handbooks and codes or to publish its procedures in specific accordance with accreditation standards as asserted by Amaya, that does not automatically lead to a finding of breach of contract on the part of IUSM,” Judge Terry Crone wrote. “It is well settled that before a court will intervene into the implied contractual relationship between student and university, there must be some evidence that the university acted arbitrarily or in bad faith. Amaya has failed to designate any such evidence here.”

The medical school followed its published procedures for dismissal and there is no evidence designated that the school’s decision to dismiss Amaya was arbitrary, capricious or made in bad faith, the judges held.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  4. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  5. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

ADVERTISEMENT