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Aguillard v. Louisiana College

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

September 27, 2019

JOE W. AGUILLARD
v.
LOUISIANA COLLEGE

          MARK L. HORNSBY JUDGE.

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Joe W. Aguillard (“Aguillard”) sued his former employer, Louisiana College (“LC”), alleging, in part, that various alleged acts of LC give rise to a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) [Doc. No. 1, ¶¶ 8-28; Doc. No. 58, ¶¶ 27A, 31A, 31B, and 33A]. Pending here is LC’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 103] seeking dismissal of Aguillard’s IIED claim. Aguillard has filed an opposition [Doc. No. 120]. LC has filed a reply [Doc. No. 121].

         For the following reasons, the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 103] is GRANTED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Aguillard served as President of LC from January of 2005 to July of 2014. Thereafter, he served as “President Emeritus” of LC and as a fully tenured member of the faculty. [Doc. No. 1, ¶¶ 1-5]. LC employed an acting president to follow Aguillard for one year, and LC then hired Dr. Richard Brewer (“Brewer”) as president. Brewer has held the job since April 2015.

         LC terminated Aguillard’s employment effective March 31, 2016. Following his termination, Aguillard filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC and the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights, alleging that LC had discriminated against him because of disability, religion, and in retaliation for opposing illegal practices in violation of the American with Disabilities Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213 (“ADA”), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et. seq. (“Title VII”). He filed a second charge of retaliation/discrimination with the EEOC and set forth more fully his religious beliefs conflict with Brewer.[1] The EEOC issued a “Right to Sue” letter on both charges. [Id. at¶¶ 31-33].

         Aguillard’s Original Complaint, filed on December 27, 2017, invoked federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, age, and disability. Aguillard also alleged that LC retaliated against him for complaining about and opposing unlawful discrimination.[2] Pertinent to his IIED claim, Aguillard’s Original Complaint alleges a series of claimed improper acts over an 11-month period, beginning with the alleged May 3, 2015 “hiring” of Kyle Johnston, and ending with Aguillard’s termination as of March 31, 2016. More specifically, Aguillard alleges the following:

¶ 8 – May 3, 2015 - LC hiring of Kyle Johnson who was allegedly one of the “Calvinists” who “didn’t just want Dr. Aguillard gone, they wanted him dead.”
¶ 9 – May 20, 2015 - Aguillard allegedly told by Dr. Brewer that Aguillard could no longer be President Emeritus and could not contact LC vice-presidents or LC donors.
¶¶ 10/11 - After May 6, 2015 - Aguillard is allegedly isolated and not allowed to participate in customary faculty functions; Dr. Brewer allegedly refuses to communicate with Aguillard.
¶ 13 - August 18, 2015 - LC publishes recruitment flier which allegedly features pictures of Kyle Johnson and Calvinists who had allegedly bullied and threatened Aguillard.
¶¶ 14 through 18 - September 28, 2015 - Aguillard meets with Don Benton Connor (hired by LC) who allegedly threatens Aguillard, takes Aguillard’s computers, slams computer top on Aguillard’s hand – resulting in Aguillard’s three-week hospital stay for trauma.
¶¶ 17; 19 – After September 28, 2015 - Aguillard’s computers allegedly “hacked, ” and Aguillard allegedly stalked and followed on orders of Dr. Brewer.
¶ 20 – December 2, 2015 - Dr. Brewer allegedly meets with Aguillard’s supervisor, supposedly to obtain statements from supervisor that Aguillard could not perform his job due to illness; supervisor allegedly refuses and is allegedly fired.
¶¶ 21/22- January 2016 - Aguillard notified of dismissal proceedings and is placed on Administrative leave.
¶ 27 - February 17, 2016 - Aguillard allegedly locked out of his office and “denied access to ... his property stored in his office.”
¶ 28 – February 23, 2016 hearing at which Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee (“FAAC”) recommends terminating Aguillard’s employment, and Aguillard’s appeal to Board of Trustees Executive Committee is unsuccessful; Aguillard terminated as of March 31, 2016.

         On November 13, 2018, Aguillard filed a motion for leave to file his First Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 32], and on March 1, 2019, the First Amended Complaint was filed [Doc. No. 58].

         Pertinent to Aguillard’s IIED claim are Paragraphs 27A, 31A, 31B, and 33A of the ...


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