A female student at Boise State University has filed suit in state court, alleging that the university violated Title IX and other Idaho law when her track coach allegedly brushed off her report of having been sexually assaulted by a male teammate. The plaintiff, sophomore Megan Opatz, alleged in particular that she reported the assault to her coach, J.W. Hardy, and asked for his assistance, but he “refused to take any action and told her ‘could not help.'” Her complaint also alleges that prior to her assault, the same assailant assaulted another female student on the team. This too had been reported to Coach Hardy, who allegedly did nothing. Opatz’s complaint attributes this indifference to athletic department policy of protecting the reputation of athletes and the athletic department.
The damages potentially available to Opatz if she successfully proves her case include damages arising from the coach’s indifferent to the first student’s reported assault, as well has his indifferent to her own. That means, she can recover for the physical, emotional, and other economic damages arising from the assault as well as its aftermath. To the latter category, it is relevant that Opatz alleges that her assailant was free to continue to torment her, further compounding the emotional harm to which a damages award could apply.
Because Opatz’s lawsuit claims that a university official’s deliberate indifferent response would
Opatz adds: “His continued presence on campus itself has given rise to a hostilePowered by Sidelines