Penn pays up again in EMTM lawsuit
June 24, 2010, 2:17 am · Updated June 24, 2010, 12:00 am·
On June 22, Penn was once again ordered to pay Frank Reynolds, 46, after the results of a lawsuit regarding the Executive Master’s in Technology Management program.
A federal jury awarded Reynolds $66,000 after finding that it had unjustly enriched itself on his tuition, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, Penn was not found to have breached any contracts with Reynolds.
Reynolds had originally sued for breach-of-contract and won $435,678 in October of 2009 after claiming to have been promised a degree from the Wharton School upon completion of the EMTM program. He alleged in his complaint that he was later told EMTM students would only be considered graduates of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The new trial was ordered on Jan. 27 when judge Thomas O’Neill of the United States District Court for Pennsylvania’s eastern district determined that evidence originally submitted by Reynolds, such as PowerPoint slides, may have been altered.
When possible alterations were found, Reynolds’ classmate Anurag Harsh dropped a similar lawsuit using the same evidence. Reynolds was then granted a motion to exclude the evidence on the grounds that Harsh’s case would reflect poorly on his own. The second trial, however, the evidence was presented to the jury in in attempt to discredit Reynolds.
According to The Inquirer, Penn’s legal counsel James Golden said he planned to file a motion in an attempt to overturn the second verdict.
The EMTM program, started in 1988 and cosponsored by the Wharton and Engineering schools, offers a Master’s Degree in Enginerering and a certificate signed by Wharton and Engineering deans.