LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said Friday they have asked the Texas Supreme Court to review his wrongful termination lawsuit.
Attorney Gerard Harrison said there conflicting rulings from appeals courts in Texas on whether the university can claim sovereign immunity from such a lawsuit. Leach has claimed Texas Tech waived that right through its conduct in firing him in December 2009.
A decision in January from the 7th Court of Appeals upheld Texas Tech's assertion of immunity, though it allows Leach to pursue a non-monetary ruling that he was wrongfully let go. Tech attorney Dicky Grigg said he is confident the high court will agree with Texas Tech.
The school fired Leach on Dec. 30, 2009, two days after suspending him amid allegations he mistreated a player with a concussion. Leach has denied mistreating Adam James, the son of ESPN analyst Craig James, and has said he suspects an $800,000 bonus he was due the next day was the reason he was fired.
"After carefully looking at Supreme Court precedent on waiver by conduct we are firmly convinced it is a viable doctrine under Texas law," Harrison said. "The court of appeals was wrong in ruling that it is not available."