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Lopiccolo v. American University: Loss of Scholarship Breach of Contract Claim Barred by Statute of Limitations

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Written by Christian Dennie   
Friday, 09 March 2012 14:08

Adam Lopiccolo was a wrestling student-athlete at American University (“AU”).  Lopiccolo claimed he was recruited and offered a full scholarship by former wrestling coach, Mark Cody, but was ultimately awarded a partial scholarship.  Once Lopiccolo arrived on campus, he described mistreatment and multiple threats including threats relating to the loss of his scholarship.  He even described a situation where he was forced to continue practice despite a large cut on his leg that ultimately became infected and led to a staph infection.  In January 2007, Lopiccolo missed several days of practice due to the flu.  When he returned to practice, he was informed that his scholarship was being revoked.  Lopiccolo unsuccessfully appealed the decision within the university.  After his unsuccessful appeal, he filed suit in federal court in the District of Columbia.

Lopiccolo’s suit set forth five causes of action including 1) breach of contract, 2) breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, 3) fraud in the inducement, 4) intentional infliction of emotional distress, and 5) negligent infliction of emotional distress.  AU (and officials of the athletic department) filed a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss Lopiccolo’s claim by arguing that his claim was time barred.  The Court looked at when the breach at issue was discovered and the limitations period (3 years) began to run at the end of January 2007 when Lopiccolo was informed that he could no longer wrestle and his scholarship would not be renewed.  Therefore, Lopiccolo’s complaint was required to be filed by January 29, 2010, but was not filed until June 29, 2010.  Therefore, Lopiccolo’s claim was time barred.

For any questions, feel free to contact Christian Dennie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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