Student sues Albright College for 'negligent hire' of professor

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Jan 18, 2019

PHILADELPHIA — A student is suing Albright College and James Gaffney, private college and professor, citing alleged negligence.

Rachael M. Youse, a/k/a Rachael M. Plank, filed a complaint on Jan. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the university, alleging it hired a professor despite his history of inappropriate relationships.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Dec. 15, 2016, she was psychologically forced to withdraw from a private college, was significantly traumatized, and incurred costs in excess of $20,000 for paying tuition fee for courses she was not able to take due to a psychological injury she suffered as a result of the serious misconduct of defendant Gaffney for his inappropriate advances and activities toward plaintiff, including lewd and suggestive comments and threats concerning her grades. 

The plaintiff holds Albright College and Gaffney responsible because the defendants allegedly refused to meet with plaintiff and her attorney to resolve the matter; placed plaintiff in a dangerous position by allowing her to interact with a known offender; and hired an individual to work with students without investigating his history.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants in an amount in excess of $100,000, award actual and punitive damages, equitable and legal relief, costs and attorney's fees. She is represented by Joseph Bambrick Jr. of West Reading.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 19-cv-75.

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