Former Duke coach can pursue lawsuit

September 1, 2009 9:56:17 AM PDT
Former Duke lacrosse coach Michael Pressler can pursue a slander lawsuit against the university and its former spokesman. Tuesday a North Carolina appeals court decided a trial court ruled correctly when it said Pressler's obligation to arbitrate his slander and libel claims was voided by his settlement agreement with Duke.

Pressler was fired following a stripper's false accusations in 2006 that three lacrosse players raped her at a team party. State prosecutors declared the accused players innocent.

The appeals court ruling means Pressler can pursue punitive damages and other penalties for disparaging comment he said former Duke spokesman John Burness made to the media.

A Duke spokesperson told Eyewitness News Tuesday, "Duke University will vigorously defend itself against this lawsuit either in arbitration or in court."

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