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McCormick v. Dresdale

United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
2010 WL 1740853 (R.I. 2010)


Facts

Marcella Dresdale and William McCormick were students at Brown University. Dresdale alleged to Brown administrators that McCormick raped her. McCormick denied the allegations and claimed that Dresdale falsely accused him. The allegations resulted in McCormick’s “withdrawal” from the university and the loss of his full scholarship. The parties entered into a settlement agreement under which Dresdale promised to release and discharge McCormick from any and all claims, including but not limited to allegations of misconduct while at Brown University. Under the agreement, McCormick promised to release and discharge Dresdale from any and all claims, including but not limited to defamation. Subsequently, McCormick and his parents (plaintiffs) brought suit against Dresdale, her parents, Brown University, and various Brown University administrators (defendants). The defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on the terms of the settlement agreement. In response, the plaintiffs asserted that “the claims forgone by the Dresdales [in the settlement agreement], in consideration for [McCormick’s] release of the same, were false and made in bad faith.”

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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