C+ Lehigh Student Asks Judge to Reverse Verdict

Attorney for Megan Thode, who lost her $1.3 million lawsuit to Lehigh University, claims judge did not interpret the law properly.


A Nazareth woman who sued Lehigh University for $1.3 million over a C+ grade and lost has filed post-trial motions asking the court to reverse its decision or grant a new trial.

Megan Thode’s attorney, Richard J. Orloski, contends in a motion for “judgment notwithstanding the verdict” that Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano erred in his interpretation of the law in ruling in favor of Lehigh.

In the paperwork filed Monday, Orloski argues that the attorney for Lehigh, Neil Hamburg, misstated the law that should apply and Giordano relied on that misstatement in issuing the verdict.

According to Orloski, the judge observed that a zero grade for class participation was “not comprehensible, or words to that effect.”

Orloski also contends “no professor at the College of Education ever gave a zero for class participation in the history of the College of Education.” The lowest grade ever given was 20, providing proof that something happened outside of the academic norm in Thode’s class.

The zero knocked down Thode’s grade by a full letter, according to testimony by Amanda Eckhardt, the student teacher for the class, according to The Express Times.

The C+ grade given during the fall 2009 semester forced Thode out of the graduate counseling program, ending her dream of becoming a licensed professional counselor. She instead got a master’s degree in human development and works as a drug and alcohol counselor, according to The Morning Call.

Lehigh contends that Thode did not deserve a higher grade because she demonstrated “unprofessional conduct” in class. In his post-trial motions, Orloski calls that claim “bogus” and writes that the university never followed its own disciplinary procedures with Thode.

. She was attending graduate classes in Lehigh’s School of Education tuition free because her father, Stephen Thode, is a Lehigh finance professor.

The $1.3 million sought in the lawsuit was the difference in lifetime earning potential between the degree Thode sought and the one she ultimately received, according to Orloski.

Ruby Montana March 04, 2013 at 02:19 PM
It certainly is! And my guess is that sense of entitlement came from mom and dad. My suggestion? She asks daddy for the 1.3 mil. There. Problem solved.
Broughaha March 04, 2013 at 03:59 PM
I also don't understand why she can't take the class again. From what I've read about her "unprofessional" behavior--swearing in class, complaining about taking an internship, disrespect in general--she is completely undeserving of any class participation points. Every student has a professor he or she doesn't like, but it's part of life. This sense of entitlement is quite unsettling.
Kimberly Blat March 05, 2013 at 02:49 AM
Grow up!!! If you had done the work you would have the grade. Stop wasting all the time and taxpayers money whining. Life is not always fair and it is what you make of it.
Carmen March 05, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I hope future employers remember her because if she interviewed for a job I was offering she would not be a candidate-why? because what she is suing for is ridiculous and I would be afraid that if I made her mad she would sue me also-If you feel such entitlement honey work for yourself because employers do not need to be subjected to your foolishness. I wonder how she was brought up-a child of the "ME" generation.
Rasterone March 05, 2013 at 06:23 PM
A good reason for Lehigh trustees to revisit tuition remission as a staff fringe benefit? Three cheers for the instructor who did not go back and change grades! And who would have thought that handing out unearned grades would have spread beyond basic pumping up the graduation statistics and eligibility for things like aid or athletics or tuition reimbursement. . But just in case I don't earn a few megabucks, and need a retroactive grade change I want to keep track of the professional witness on her behalf, also a Lehigh graduate with an MBA who opined as to her loss of $1,300, 000 lifetime earnings. Being improperly/unlawfully not having an employment contract renewed at its end in Easton was only worth about $600,000 to settle and apparently that nonrenewal was tied to some solid improper words. Baloney--lots of people do very very well w/o a specific graduate degree.....


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