DULUTH – The University of Minnesota Duluth and its former women’s hockey coach have reached a settlement in a long-running discrimination lawsuit.
Attorneys for Shannon Miller and the university negotiated the deal, but it “has not yet been memorialized in a signed written document,” according to a court filing from the university, so no other details were immediately available.
“I can confirm that our legal team was able to reach a global settlement agreement with Shannon Miller at both the federal and state levels,” UMD spokesperson Lynne Williams said in a statement Monday. “We are not able to get into further details until the agreement is signed and finalized.”
Miller’s attorney was not immediately available for comment.
Miller and the former women’s basketball coach and former softball coach at UMD sued the university in federal court in 2015 alleging gender and sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation. Miller’s was the only lawsuit that proceeded after a judge dismissed the other claims. She won that lawsuit after a nine-day jury trial, and she recently accepted a reduced award of $1.9 million in noneconomic damages and pay and benefits and an additional $2.4 million for legal fees and expenses.
Last month U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz called a $3 million jury award for emotional distress “shockingly excessive” and instead offered $750,000 in noneconomic damages on top of $1.2 million awarded for pay and benefits.
A similar state lawsuit from the three coaches has been appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court after lower courts dismissed their claims. The settlement would remove Miller from that case but it does not affect the other two coaches, Jen Banford and Annette Wiles.