Morris v. Yale University
The 2004 Appellate Court case of Barasso v. Rear Still Hill Road, LLC, instructs that "the party opposing summary judgment must present a factual predicate for his argument to raise a genuine issue of material fact." Darrell Morris filed a complaint against Yale University alleging breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and promissory estoppel. The plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that he was a matriculated medical student at the Yale University School of Medicine and, upon his admission, was given a student handbook which, he claimed, created a contract between him and the defendant. The handbook stated that medical students had to take and pass step one of the U.S. medical licensing examination and were allowed three opportunities to pass this exam. The plaintiff failed the exam twice and the defendant dismissed him. The school conditionally readmitted the plaintiff following his appeal. When he did not take the exam by June 30, 2004, the school dismissed him again. The plaintiff took the exam in March 2005 and passed it. Nevertheless, the medical school denied him re-admission. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed claiming that the court erred in failing to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and in finding disputed facts. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The documents submitted by the defendant demonstrated that the plaintiff was on academic probation when, in the fall of 2003, given his failure to pass the exam twice, he was dismissed from the school. He was readmitted under specific conditions including that he successfully complete the exam prior to June 30, 2004. Portions of the plaintiff's deposition were submitted acknowledging his probationary re-admission subject to this condition and that he did not follow through by timely taking the exam. Nothing in the documents submitted in support of the plaintiff's opposition to the motion disputed the defendant's evidence or created a genuine issue of material fact as to the reasons for the dismissal. The trial court properly rendered summary judgment for the defendant.