Mich. dental school settles lawsuit for $1M

The University of Michigan has reached a $1 million settlement with a former dental student who said she was wrongfully dismissed from the dental school, according to an Associated Press (AP) story.

Last month the AP reported that the university was dropping an appeal of a $1.7 million verdict awarded to Alissa Zwick to settle the case, but details of the settlement were not made available. Both Zwick's lawyer and the school had refused to discuss the number, citing a confidentiality clause, according to the story.

The AP subsequently obtained the settlement figure under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act. The settlement includes $673,000 for Zwick and $327,000 for her lawyer, Deborah Gordon.

Zwick was originally awarded $1.7 million after a federal jury decided her due process rights were violated and she was unfairly dismissed from the school in 2005. Zwick was told her performance in clinic was weak and she was not capable of practicing dentistry. In her lawsuit, she claimed she was the victim of infighting between faculty members and the school's associate dean, Marilyn Lantz, D.M.D.

In January, lawyers for Dr. Lantz and the three other defendants filed a motion calling for a new trial and/or reduction in the award.

Zwick is currently pursuing a master's degree in speech pathology from Eastern Michigan University. She was unable to get into another dental school after her dismissal.

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