Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Texas Tech in Breach of Contract Lawsuit

A Texas appeals court on Friday threw out a breach of contract lawsuit filed by former coach Mike Leach against Texas Tech.

According to court documents, university attorneys argued that Leach could not sue the school over his controversial 2009 firing because Texas Tech is a state entity with sovereign immunity. The court ruled in favor of the university, saying the institution could only be sued with permission from the state Legislature. Leach, however, could still pursue non-monetary claims against the school.

Leach’s attorney, Paul Dobrowski, said he plans to appeal the decision to the Texas Supreme Court. Dobrowski said the law regarding waiver of sovereign immunity is unclear. “In essence, the doctrine permits state institutions such as Texas Tech to deny a man’s written contractual rights and steal his hard-earned labor while paying nothing,” Dobrowski said. “That is not fair and not what Texas and its citizens stand for.”

The school fired Leach on December 30, 2009, amid allegations he mistreated a player with a concussion. Leach has denied mistreating the player, Adam James, and has said he suspects an $800,000 bonus he was due on December 31 was the reason he was fired.

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