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Case Name Videckis v. Pepperdine University ED-CA-0024
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-00298-DDP (JCx) ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Education
Case Summary
On December 10, 2014, two student-athletes brought this discrimination action against Pepperdine University in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.

The plaintiffs alleged that the university administration, athletic department, and women’s ... read more >
On December 10, 2014, two student-athletes brought this discrimination action against Pepperdine University in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.

The plaintiffs alleged that the university administration, athletic department, and women’s basketball coach coordinated to discriminate against them because of their same-sex relationship, resulting in their dismissal from the basketball team and loss of their athletic scholarships, which forced them to leave school. The plaintiffs’ complaint asserted state claims for violation of rights under the California Constitution and California state law and federal claims for violation of Title IX. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought monetary damages.

On January 14, 2015, the defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs then amended their complaint on February 5, 2015. Two weeks later, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

On April 16, 2015, Federal District Judge Dean D. Pregerson issued an order granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss. Specifically, the court denied the motion to dismiss the invasion of privacy claim as to the plaintiffs' sexual orientation and the violations of California’s Educational Code. The court then held that the plaintiffs had failed to state a claim for invasion of privacy as to the medical records. Further, since the plaintiffs did not contest Pepperdine’s assertion that Title IX does not cover sexual orientation discrimination, the court dismissed this claim with leave to amend. 100 F. Supp. 3d 927.

On June 9, 2015, the plaintiffs then filed a second amended complaint, claiming that Title IX covered gender stereotype discrimination. That same day, the defendants again filed a motion to dismiss the Title IX claim, claiming the statute's prohibition on the "basis of sex" did not cover sexual orientation.

On December 15, 2015, Judge Pregerson denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding “the distinction is illusory and artificial, and that sexual orientation discrimination is not a category distinct from sex or gender discrimination”, and that “claims of sexual orientation discrimination are gender stereotype or sex discrimination claims.” 150 F. Supp. 3d 1151.

From March 2016 to August 2017, the parties engaged in discovery.

Trial was held from July 18, 2017 to August 11, 2017. On August 11, 2017, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant on all claims. The court entered a judgement based on the verdict on September 11, 2017.

Plaintiffs filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (No. 17-56548) on October 12, 2017. The appeal is ongoing.

Kelly Ehrenreich - 02/16/2017
Sean Mulloy - 10/19/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action State law
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Pepperdine University
Plaintiff Description Two former members of the Pepperdine University women’s basketball team who had a romantic relationship.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Montgomery Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Blackman. v. District of Columbia
http://www.bazelon.org/blackman-v-district-of-columbia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  S.S. v. Springfield Public Schools
http://www.bazelon.org/springfield-massachusetts-school-system/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Doe v. Pasadena Unified School District
http://www.bazelon.org/doe-v-pasadena-unified-school-district/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  A.J. v. Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools
http://www.bazelon.org/a-j-v-cesar-chavez-public-charter-schools-et-al/
Date: 2017
By: Bazelon Center (Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Date: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:15-cv-00298-DDP (C.D. Cal.)
ED-CA-0024-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Damages [ECF# 1-2]
ED-CA-0024-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/14/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Removal of Action Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 [ECF# 1]
ED-CA-0024-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/14/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss (100 F.Supp.3d 927) (C.D. Cal.)
ED-CA-0024-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/16/2015
Source: Bloomberg Law
Third Amended Complaint for Damages [ECF# 31]
ED-CA-0024-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Order Denying Defendant Pepperdine University's Motion to Dismiss Third, Fourth, and Fifth Causes of Action of the Third Amended Complaint (150 F.Supp.3d 1151) (C.D. Cal.)
ED-CA-0024-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/15/2015
Verdict Form for Plaintiffs' Haley Videckis [ECF# 246]
ED-CA-0024-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in Favor of Defendant Pepperdine University Against Plaintiffs Haley Videckis and Layana White on Jury Verdicts [ECF# 253] (2017 WL 3995113) (C.D. Cal.)
ED-CA-0024-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Pregerson, Dean D. (C.D. Cal.)
ED-CA-0024-0003 | ED-CA-0024-0005 | ED-CA-0024-0006 | ED-CA-0024-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dickerson, Robert W. Jr. (California)
ED-CA-0024-9000
Gray, Jeremy J. (California)
ED-CA-0024-0004 | ED-CA-0024-9000
Newman, Alan B. (California)
ED-CA-0024-0001 | ED-CA-0024-9000
Patel, Jayesh (California)
ED-CA-0024-9000
Sullivan, Agnes Markarian (California)
ED-CA-0024-9000
Zuber, Jeffrey J. (California)
ED-CA-0024-0004 | ED-CA-0024-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hunt, David Robert (California)
ED-CA-0024-9000
Rustin, Peter B. (California)
ED-CA-0024-0002 | ED-CA-0024-9000
Schneider, Eric A. (California)
ED-CA-0024-9000
Sugden, David R. (California)
ED-CA-0024-9000
Victor, Paula Tripp (California)
ED-CA-0024-0002 | ED-CA-0024-9000

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