Lawsuit Against Tulane University for Retaliation and Defamation
First Amended Complaint
(Case No. 98-1792 c/w 98-2102, Docket No. 21, November 9, 1998)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * DR. CARL BERNOFSKY * CIVIL ACTION NO. 98-1792 Plaintiff * C/W 92-2102 VERSUS * * SECTION "C" (5) TULANE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL SCHOOL * Defendant * JUDGE BERRIGAN * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
- This suit is authorized and instituted pursuant to 42 United States Code, Section 1981 and 1981(b); 42 United States Code, Section 2000e-3(a), and 29 United States Code Section 623(d). Jurisdiction of this Court is established under 28 United States Code, Section 1331. Venue lies with this Court pursuant to 28 United States Code, 1391(b) as the acts giving rise to the claims alleged herein occurred within this district, and pursuant to 28 United States Code, Section 2000e-5(f)(3).
- This is a civil action brought on behalf of the plaintiff, Dr. Carl Bernofsky, a Jewish male, 64 years of age, to redress the injury caused to him by the deprivation of his rights and privileges as secured by the Constitution and laws of these United States as a result of the intentional acts of the defendants.
- Plaintiff, Dr. Carl Bernofsky, ("Dr. Bernofsky"), a person of full age and majority, is a resident of the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana.
- Made defendant herein are The Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund, ("Tulane"), with members who are residents in this district.
- Dr. Bernofsky was previously employed at Tulane University Medical School for nearly twenty years. Dr. Bernofsky's employment at Tulane was terminated effective April 21, 1995. On February 10, 1995, Dr. Bernofsky filed a charge (number 270-95-0754) with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, 42 United States Code Section 2000e et seq. ("Title VII") and age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). Additionally, he brought an action designated as "Dr. Carl Bernofsky v. Tulane University Medical School, C.A. No. 95-0358," alleging race discrimination claims under 42 United States Code, Section 1981 and age discrimination claims under 29 United States Code, Section 621, et seq. These claims were joined with various other state law based claims.
- On or about February 21, 1997, Tulane falsely stated to a prospective employer, the University of Houston, that Dr. Bernofsky had sued his former Department Chairman and that he was terminated due to a lack of research funds. These false and malicious statements were made by the Associate General Counsel of Tulane in a letter written to a prospective employer. The letter is retaliatory and in violation of 42 United States Code, Section 2000e-3(a) and 29 United States Code, Section 623(d).
- Dr. Bernofsky became aware of Tulane's conduct on March 1, 1997. On September 25, 1997, Dr. Bernofsky filed a charge numbered 270-97-1445 with the EEOC regarding Tulane's conduct. He filed an action, which is pending, in state court on November 25, 1997. A "right to sue" letter was mailed by the EEOC on March 20, 1998.
- Following his termination by Tulane, Dr. Bernofsky applied to at least 50 potential university employers in 1997, but he was not granted a single interview by any of the potential employers. Having been on the faculty at the medical school for nearly twenty years before he was terminated, Dr. Bernofsky listed Tulane University School of Medicine as a reference. Upon information and belief, Tulane has made similar false and malicious statements to other prospective employers.
- Additionally, Tulane has retaliated against Dr. Bernofsky by refusing to respond to inquiries by prospective employers to whom Dr. Bernofsky had sent applications for employment. At least four prospective employers informed Dr. Bernofsky that no response was made by Tulane to their letter of inquiry.
- Tulane's refusal to respond or answer employment inquiries concerning Dr. Bernofsky is in retaliation for his filing charges with the EEOC alleging violations of Title VII and the ADEA and for attempting to vindicate his rights under 42 United States Code, Section 1981.
- Tulane's conduct is retaliatory and in violation of 42 United States Code, Section 1981 and 1981(b); 42 United States Code, Section 2000e-3(a), and 29 United States Code, Section 623(d).
- As a result of the intentional, malicious, reckless and willful acts of retaliation by Tulane, Dr. Bernofsky has suffered damage to his reputation, loss of income, emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, and pain and suffering.
- This claim is being filed within 90 days of receipt of the EEOC's "right to sue" notice for the charge numbered 270-97-1445. An additional charge numbered 270-98-1057 filed April 23, 1998 concerning Tulane's refusal to respond to prospective employer inquires was filed. A "right to sue" notice for the charge numbered 270-98-1057 has now been received. All jurisdictional prerequisites for claims under Title VII have now been met.
- Dr. Bernofsky requests a trial by jury on all issues triable by same.
- Dr. Bernofsky seeks recovery of actual damages - including front and back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, legal interest, and attorneys' fees.
WHEREFORE, plaintiff, Dr. Carl Bernofsky, prays that Tulane be cited to appear and answer this complaint and after due proceedings be had, there be judgment herein in his favor and against Tulane for damages as requested herein; for a permanent injunction prohibiting further retaliatory action against him by Tulane; together with all costs and legal interest. Plaintiff, Dr. Carl Bernofsky, further prays for reasonable attorneys' fees, costs and expenses incurred in this matter; a trial by jury on all issues triable by same; and for all and any other such further relief as justice may deem appropriate and require.
s/ Roger Phipps
Roger D. Phipps #20326
PHIPPS & PHIPPS
210 Baronne Street, Suite 1410
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
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