‘U’ must submit to sworn depositions in Lipian lawsuit

Sunday, May 19, 2019 - 9:32pm

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Max Kuang/Daily

University of Michigan employees must submit to sworn depositions and the University must turn over internal documents in a lawsuit filed by Andrew Lipian, a former School of Music, Theatre & Dance graduate student. Lipian’s lawsuit alleges University professor of opera David Daniels and his husband sexually assaulted him and the University did not properly address several allegations of misconduct made against Daniels.

Daniels was placed on paid leave in August 2018 after several allegations of sexual misconduct rose against him. Lipian says Daniels sexually assaulted him in March 2017. Daniels denied Lipian’s accusations and filed a countersuit against Lipian in December 2018. In January, attorney Deborah Gordon dropped an accusation against Daniels, which she said was not significant to the case. In February, Daniels filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit due to lack of jurisdiction.

New York-based baritone Samuel Schultz has also accused Daniels and his husband of drugging and raping him in a Houston hotel in 2010. Other allegations of sexual misconduct include students being solicited on the dating app Grindr for sex with Daniels.

After listening to arguments from both sides this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub has set deposition dates for June. The University will also be required to release internal sexual misconduct files regarding Daniels, like communications between Daniels and Lipian between 2015 and 2018.

Witnesses who must be deposed include Elizabeth Seney, senior associate director at the Office of Institutional Equity, and Melody Racine, former Music, Theatre & Dance interim dean, among others.

Lipian will be required to provide income tax records, proof of financial damages, medical treatment records and communications with Daniels, Schultz and the University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center. Daniels and his husband must release their communications with Lipian once the court’s subpoenas are approved.