Fussell v. Louisiana Business College of Monroe

519 So. 2d 384 (1988)

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Fussell v. Louisiana Business College of Monroe

Louisiana Court of Appeal
519 So. 2d 384 (1988)

Facts

Shelva Fussell (plaintiff) entered into a contract with the Louisiana Business College of Monroe (LBCM) (defendant) in order to receive the training necessary to become a legal secretary. Fussell was suspended four months into her program for being a disruptive influence, despite having excellent grades and a strong record of attendance. LBCM demanded that she sign a document admitting that she was disruptive, but Fussell refused and was not readmitted. Fussell’s suspension came amid growing dissatisfaction among teachers and faculty at LBCM, leading to a decline in enrollment. Fussell was one of 21 students to sign a petition addressed to the district attorney highlighting concerns about the school’s administration, including misappropriating government loans and overcharging students. Following her suspension, Fussell filed suit for breach of contract. At trial, two of Fussell’s teachers testified in her defense. Fussell admitted to complaining about LBCM and its teachers, but no other evidence was introduced to support LBCM’s claim that Fussell was disruptive. A trial court found in favor of LBCM, but an appellate court reversed and remanded. On remand, LBCM attempted to buttress the record to support its claim. An LBCM administrator testified that LBCM had received a note indicating that Fussell and one other student were “putting doubts in other students’ minds” by questioning whether the school would charge them for courses they did not need. When pressed, school administrators stated that Fussell was undermining the school’s goals and instigating unrest, but they could not point to anything more specific. A trial court again found in favor of LBCM. Fussell appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marvin, J.)

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