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Lawsuit Against Liberty University Gains National Attention

A lawsuit filed by Gawthrop Greenwood attorney Jack Larkin against Liberty University continues to gain national attention as the Peabody-nominated podcast series Gangster Capitalism releases its latest report. News coverage of the lawsuit has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, Inside Edition and NBC News, among others.

Larkin filed the lawsuit in July on behalf of 12 anonymous women who say the university based in Lynchburg, Virginia,  “enabled on-campus rapes” and suppressed complaints of sexual assault and rape. The plaintiffs include women who were students or employees at the university and one non-student who was a minor at the time of the alleged wrongdoing. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that the university policies violated the federal Title IX law prohibiting discrimination based on sex at schools that receive federal funding.

Jack Larkin
Jack Larkin

“Since my initial filing, more plaintiffs and witnesses have come forward,” says Larkin, who leads Gawthrop Greenwood’s Litigation Department. “Ten new Jane Does are positioned to join the lawsuit against Liberty if it is not resolved amicably.”

Virginia’s U.S. senators have called for a federal investigation into the university, with Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Tim Kaine urging the U.S. Department of Education to look into Liberty University’s procedures for dealing with sexual assault cases. Liberty University students have called for action, forming a movement called “Liberty for all Jane Does” with students wearing teal ribbons on campus and at student events.

The day Jane Does 1-12 v. Liberty University, Inc. was filed, Liberty University released a statement saying, in part, “We will immediately look into each of these claims to determine what needs to be done to make things right, if they turn out to be true.”

Attorney Jack Larkin is a partner at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC, where he focuses his practice on discrimination litigation. Significant recent trial matters he has handled include several federal employment discrimination defenses, a federal copyright infringement defense, and multiple sexual harassment and assault cases.

Prior to joining Gawthrop Greenwood, he was an appellate litigator in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, where he appeared regularly before the Pennsylvania Superior Court and periodically handled appeals to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He continues his appellate practice today, civilly, before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and Pennsylvania’s Superior, Commonwealth and Supreme Courts.

Jack’s published works have appeared in law journals at the Georgetown University School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School and the University of Florida Law School, in the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, as well as in the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Bar Quarterly and At Issue publications.

JaneDoes.v.LibertyUniversity.Complaint

Gawthrop Greenwood, PC has offices in West Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE serving clients throughout the greater mid-Atlantic region and nation. For more than a century, the firm has stood behind its core principle of providing high-quality legal services with personal attention. Gawthrop Greenwood’s diverse portfolio of clients comprises entrepreneurs, businesses, and governmental entities that entrust the firm with their representation in a wide range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, commercial litigation, estate and tax planning, land use and development, and domestic relations. A complete listing of the firm’s practice areas and attorneys, as well as a variety of legal resources, can be found at www.gawthrop.com.

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