DULUTH – The University of Minnesota Duluth on Monday appealed a multimillion-dollar award in the federal discrimination case brought by former women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller — though the university and Miller have reached a settlement that has not been finalized that could alter those proceedings.
“Today was the deadline for our appeal, which we did file in an effort to preserve our rights while we continue to finalize the global settlement with Shannon Miller,” said UMD spokesperson Lynne Williams.
Attorney Sharon L. Van Dyck, who represents Miller, said about the settlement last week: “There’s no reason to believe everything isn’t going to be signed, sealed, delivered.”
The case was first filed in 2015 by Miller, former softball coach Jen Banford and former women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles, who alleged sexual orientation-based discrimination and retaliation, among other claims.
Only Miller’s claims of gender discrimination made it to trial, which concluded with a jury verdict in Miller’s favor in 2018.
Absent a settlement, if the judgments were to stand the university would pay Miller $1.9 million in noneconomic damages and pay and benefits and an additional $2.4 million for legal fees and expenses.
Banford and Wiles filed their own appeal of the dismissal of their sexual orientation discrimination charges earlier this month. That appeal will likely hinge on the outcome of a similar case the Supreme Court is considering.