ST. PAUL, MN — The University of Minnesota is asking a judge to grant a new trial or reduce the dollar amount awarded to Shannon Miller as part of a discrimination case against the school.
According to university officials, they filed the post-trial motion in court Wednesday.
According to court documents, the motion asks the award be lowered by at least $48,466 because, according to the University, the jury “improperly speculated” that Miller would receive a pay raise, and that despite Miller’s admission, she hadn’t looked for one when she requested to extend her contract.
In February, a judge granted a motion that the former UMD women’s hockey coach would receive more than $4.2 million from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.
That ruling came after a federal jury’s findings in March 2018 that UMD had discriminated and retaliated against Miller. The jury awarded Miller with more than $700,000 in back pay and past benefits, and three million dollars in other past damages.
The ruling allowed Miller to receive an additional $460,000 in front pay and future benefits.
Court documents say the university requests that the court enter judgement as a matter of law in its favor, or grant a new trial, or grant the university’s motion for remittitur, which is an “order directing plaintiff to choose between either accepting a reduced amount of damages as set by the court, or retrying the case.”
UMD issued the following statement after the post-trial motion documents were filed on Wednesday:
“Our decision to allow Coach Miller’s fixed term contract to expire was based on the best interests of the program and student-athletes. We stand by that decision and respectfully disagree with the jury’s verdict. UMD continues to provide a safe and welcoming campus embracing our values of inclusiveness and diversity. Our legal team has filed a solid motion and we await the judge’s decision.”
In addition, University of Minnesota Seniro associate General Counsel Timothy Pramas also sounded off:
“In regard to the Shannon Miller lawsuit, the University of Minnesota filed a motion today asking the judge to set aside the jury verdict, grant a new trial, or at least reduce the awarded amount. Based on the law and facts, we have presented a strong motion and we look forward to the Court’s consideration of it. Further information and details can be found in the attached legal memorandum.”