A lawsuit filed by the captain of men’s rowing last week to reinstate the team as a varsity sport has moved to federal court.
University lawyers filed a motion Monday to move the case from D.C. Superior Court to the D.C. District Court as GW still awaits an official summons. Patrick George – a fourth-year student and the captain of the men’s rowing team – sued the University in D.C. Superior Court Friday, alleging the University defrauded him, breached its contract and engaged in deceptive trade practices in failing to renew his athletic scholarship for the upcoming academic year.
GW’s attorneys contested that the case is subject to federal court because of Title 28 of the U.S. code that establishes “diversity of citizenship,” giving district courts original jurisdiction over controversies that exceed $75,000 and involve citizens of foreign states.
George is a citizen of the United Kingdom who currently lives in the United States with a student visa, while the University is considered a party with D.C. citizenship, according to the court notice. The notice states that the lawsuit exceeds the value of $75,000 – George alleged that the annual cost of maintaining the rowing team could reach nearly $220,000 – which also permits the federal court to oversee the litigation.
Lawyers from Gibson Dunn – an international law firm with more than 1,500 attorneys – filed the notice of removal from D.C. Superior Court to District Court on behalf of the University.
Anand Ramana, George’s lawyer, did not immediately return a request for comment.
University spokesperson Tim Pierce did not immediately return a request for comment.