Wed July 20, 2011
Ruling says Judge Wrong to Toss OU Defamation Suit
A state appeals court has revived a defamation lawsuit against Ohio University brought by a former professor blamed in a plagiarism investigation.
A university report said Bhavin Mehta and other mechanical engineering professors failed to be alert to student copying or ignored plagiarism.
An Ohio Court of Claims judge threw out Mehta's lawsuit in 2009 when he ruled the report amounted to opinions that were protected speech under the Ohio Constitution. The Athens Messenger reports the appeals court disagreed this week and overturned the earlier decision, saying the report's findings were presented as fact and not opinion.
The case has been sent back to the Court of Claims.
The university said it's reviewing the appeals court ruling with lawyers.