Attorney: dropped claim has ‘no significance’ on Daniels sexual assault case

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 7:35pm

One of the accusations against School of Music, Theater & Dance professor David Daniels has been dropped.

One of the accusations against School of Music, Theater & Dance professor David Daniels has been dropped. Buy this photo
Carter Fox/Daily

One of the accusations aginst School of Music, Theater & Dance professor and famous singer David Daniels has been dropped. However, attorney Deborah Gordon said the move should not be interpreted as detrimental to the case.

An October lawsuit against Daniels claimed the professor violated the Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sex with regard to employment and access to public accommodations. Gordon dropped this claim last week.

The lawsuit also made claims of sexual harassment under Title IX, a federal law banning sex discrimination at organizations that receive government funding. Gordon told MLive this action had no bearing on the ultimate success of the case.

“We dropped the Elliott-Larsen claim voluntarily against U-M only for technical legal reasons,” Gordon said. “It was duplicative, in many ways, of the Title IX claim. Bottom line — dropping the claim has no significance to the case.”

Gordon’s clients are several former students who claim to have been assaulted by Daniels during his tenure at the University. In August, University alum Andrew Lipian claimed that during a visit to Daniels's residence in March 2017, the opera professor drugged and sexually assaulted him.

The opera professor remains on leave from the University during the ongoing trial. A scheduling conference for Gordon’s lawsuit has been set for Jan. 23 at the U.S. District Court in Detroit.