Engel cases moves forward in court

MU professor Greg Engel is suing the UM System of Board of Curators and three faculty members.
Casey Purcella / Graphic Designer

The lawsuit filed by MU faculty member Greg Engel progressed into the hearing stage Monday in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Boone County Courthouse downtown.

The motion hearing before judge Christine Carpenter was scheduled in order to clear up a few undefined statements in filed petitions.

Dale Doerhoff, the attorney for the defendants, the Board of Curators and three individual faculty members at MU, said they found the allegations brought forth by Engel, the plaintiff, too vague.

“The allegations are open-ended,” Doerhoff said in the hearing. “They need to state what their complaints are.”

The unclear complaints in Engel’s petition frustrated Doerhoff, because he said the defendants are entitled to know what part of the employment contract they allegedly breached, he said.

“(Engel) still has his job, his salary, yet he’s suing the defendants for $5 million,” Doerhoff said. “It’s not too much to ask that he say what he’s complaining about.”

Doerhoff also said the claims in Engel’s petition were too long and had extraneous charges in the pleading.

“(It is) not appropriate to put that in a short statement,” Doerhoff said.

Engel was represented in court by George Smith, who disagreed with Doerhoff’s statements.

“I find the defendants’ motion to be frivolous,” Smith said. “He’s complaining about our formatting. He doesn’t like how I formatted my petition.”

Carpenter listened to their statements and said she decided to take them into consideration.

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