Three years after receiving and unsuccessfully challenging a C+ in a course critical to her master's degree, Megan Thode did the reasonable thing and sued Lehigh University, her alma mater — which she attended for free, because her father works there — for $1.3 million, the amount she claims the poor grade will cost her career earnings. Apparently, the C+, which, let's be real, isn't so terrible, forced her to switch to a career in human development instead of professional counseling.
As Thode's lawyer, Richard J. Orloski, put it: "She's literally lost a career," which isn't entirely true, since she's still working as a counselor, just not a state-certified one. But moving on. "I have nothing against you setting national precedent here," Orloski told the judge, after admitting he hadn't looked up legal precedents for courts altering grades.
The lawsuit, the trial for which started this week, says Thode's C+ was the result of a double-pronged attack by Lehigh: one part discrimination (Thode claims her professor, Amanda Carr, gave her the poor grade because Carr wasn't supportive of Thode's work to support gay rights, a claim Lehigh's attorneys have refuted) and one part old fashioned department-wide conspiracy (Thode also alleges the department head plotted with Carr to fail Thode after she complained about a mandatory internship).
Lehigh's lawyers don't seem too worried, though.
"I think if your honor changed the grade, you'd be the first court in the history of jurisprudence to change an academic grade," Lehigh University attorney Neil Hamburg told the judge presiding over the case.
"She has to get through the program. She has to meet the academic standards."
Hamburg also said Thode had exhibited unprofessional behavior in class, including cursing and crying. Based on Judge Emil Giordano's reaction, Lehigh doesn't have much reason to be concerned.
"I've practiced law for longer than I'd like to [admit]," Giordano said, "and I've never seen something like this."
[via The Daily Mail//Image via Facebook]