HUNTINGTON - A former medical student is suing the Marshall University Board of Governors for wrongfully dismissing her from the medical program at Marshall.
Marshall University Board of Governors is doing business as Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.
Joseph I. Shapiro, individually and as Dean of the Marshall University School of Medicine; Aaron McGuffin, individually and as Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs; Tracy LeGrow, individually and as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs; Robert C. Nerhood, individually and as Interim Dean of Marshall University School of Medicine; and Maria Veitia, individually and as Associate Dean for Student Affairs were also named as defendants in the suit.
Stephanie Zimmeck started medical school at Marshall in August 2009 and successfully completed her first two years of the program, according to a complaint filed June 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington.
Zimmeck claims on Dec. 17, 2010, she was placed on academic probation for receiving a "U" interim grade after one semester of a full year Advanced Patient Care course and successfully passed the course at its conclusion in May 2011.
Despite passing the course, Zimmeck remained on academic probation and on Oct. 18, 2011, the Academic and Professional Standards Committee issued a letter to Zimmeck stating that based on a meeting on Oct. 7, 2011, she was to remain on academic probation, according to the suit.
Zimmeck claims MUSOM unilaterally imposed sanctions against her for unsupported allegations of professional misconduct by imposing a heavy burden upon her, which was not imposed on other students at the school.
The defendants ultimately dismissed Zimmeck from the program and their decision to do so was arbitrary and capricious in nature, according to the suit.
Zimmeck claims the defendants' actions prevented her from attending classes at MUSOM, thus halting and destroying her ability to attend medical school or to ever enter the medical profession.
The harm caused by the defendants is irreparable and can only be mitigated by the reinstatement of Zimmeck in the good standing of the medical school so that she may transfer in advanced standing to an alternative medical school.
Zimmeck is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 and punitive damages in excess of $75,000. She is being represented by Jason J. Bach of the Bach Law Firm PLLC and William D. Levine of St. Clair & Levine.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington case number: 3:13-cv-14743