Judge denies plea to dismiss OU sexual harassment lawsuit

Oklahoma

FILE – In this March 25, 2015, file photo, University of Oklahoma Vice President Jim “Tripp” Hall III poses for a portrait in Oklahoma City. Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman ruled Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, that the sexual harassment case against Oklahoma University’s Board of Regents filed by Levi Hilliard involves a “mixed question of law and facts” that should be decided in future legal proceedings, The Norman Transcript reported. Hilliard, a former server at a university restaurant, claims former OU Vice President Hall made sexual advances towards him on multiple occasions. (Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman via AP, File)

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents of negligence in its handling of a sexual harassment case.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman ruled Thursday that Levi Hilliard’s case should be decided in court.

The Norman Transcript reports that Balkman dismissed a portion of the lawsuit seeking punitive damages.

Hilliard is a former server at a university restaurant.

He says former OU Vice President Jim “Tripp” Hall III made sexual advances towards him in 2017.

He accuses the regents of failing to follow university policy on sexual harassment reporting and investigations. 

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