Three motions filed in response to February Sigma Nu lawsuit


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Sigma Nu’s WKU chapter house sits on the edge of campus.

Michael Crimmins, Investigative Reporter

Editor’s note: This story contains reference to sexual violence, which could be disturbing to readers. If you are a survivor of sexual violence, resources are available at the Counseling and Testing Center and the Title IX offices on campus and at Hope Harbor, a local sexual trauma recovery center.

Under Herald policy, due to the nature of this lawsuit, the names of students involved have been replaced by “plaintiff” and “defendant”.

A trio of motions have been filed by WKU and the defendant’s lawyers in regards to a lawsuit filed in February over an alleged sexual assault that occurred between a Sigma Nu student and another WKU student, who filed under the pseudonym “K.P.”

In documents filed in late March, the lawyers representing the defendant, Sigma Nu, the university and staff responded to the civil complaint.

Defendant’s motion

The defendant’s lawyer is David Broderick, a law office located in Bowling Green. Broderick’s motion moves to dismiss the lawsuit based on two reasons. One, the motion argues it should be dismissed based on the pseudonym used by the plaintiff, which the document claims is not acceptable.

“Defendant should have the right to know the identity of the individual making claims against him that affect his privacy, his safety, and his future,” the motion states. 

The motion also cites the Kentucky statute of limitations, stating that the complaint should be dismissed because it was not filed within one year of the actions described in the civil lawsuit.

“An action for an injury to the person of the plaintiff shall be commenced within one year after the cause of the action,” the motion states.

University and staff’s motion

The university and its employees mentioned in the initial complaint filed their own “motion to dismiss” on March 22, with attorneys Thomas Kerrick and Ena Demir representing them.

In the initial complaint, the plaintiff named WKU faculty members Andrea Anderson, Charley Pride and Andrew Rash as being “negligently” hired and trained by WKU President Timothy Caboni. Caboni is also being represented in the university’s motion.

The motion denied all allegations mentioned in the K.P. civil suit and stated the defendants were without “sufficient knowledge” of the allegations.

Media Director and University Spokesperson Jace Lux was contacted by phone for comment.

“The university prioritizes the safety and well-being of the campus community above all else,” Lux responded in an email. “WKU has fully cooperated with the criminal proceedings of this case throughout the last year. Due to the ongoing legal proceedings, the university has no additional comment.”

In the university’s motion, under its sixth defense, it pleads the doctrines of sovereign, governmental, official and qualified immunity, meaning that WKU can not be sued in civil matters.

Sigma Nu’s motion

The fraternity Sigma Nu, as well as the Eta Rho chapter, have also filed an answer to the complaint. It was filed through attorneys Gregg Thornton and Caroline Augenstein of Lexington nine days after Broderick and the university’s motions.

The motion denies the accusations made by the plaintiff in the original lawsuit and provides 12 defenses, including invoking the statute of limitations, reasonable doubt and unconstitutionality. 

“The plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a claim against these defendants upon which relief may be granted,” the Sigma Nu motion states.

In addition to denying the accusations, the fraternity’s answer ends with its demands for relief. The demands include dismissal of complaint, trial by jury, for costs expended and “for any and all other relief to which it may appear properly entitled.”

The original suit was filed with Thomas Law Offices in Louisville. The office was contacted by phone for comment on the motions filed by the defendants, but did not respond by time of publication. The office’s comments will be added as they become available.

The motions are scheduled to be heard by judge Steve Wilson in Warren County circuit court at 10:30 a.m. on April 18, 2022.

Investigative Reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm.