University of Louisiana Professor Settles Harassment Suit

July 23, 2012

An internationally recognized University of Louisiana at Monroe toxicology professor has settled a lawsuit he filed against the university alleging he was harassed and discriminated against after he suffered a stroke five years ago.

The News-Star reports that the university announced Tuesday that it had reached “an amicable settlement” with Harihara Mehendale in the College of Pharmacy.

The settlement came after a jury trial began July 9 in Baton Rouge, according to attorneys. The case was heard in Baton Rouge because the University of Louisiana System was also a defendant.

Mehendale says he will continue to teach and conduct research as a professor at ULM, but he was asked to give up the Kitty DeGree Endowed Chair of Toxicology. Mehendale said the university agreed to pay him $100,000 and will also restore around $500,000 in chemicals and equipment to his laboratory- items he said the university threw out while he was on temporary leave after his stroke.

Mehendale said he was pleased to have the lawsuit behind him so he can get back to the profession he loves. “Teaching is what I’m made for,” he said. “That’s my life.”

Mehendale is a nationally and internationally recognized toxicologist who had held the Kitty DeGree Endowed Chair of Toxicology since 1992. He has conducted extensive research on toxicant-induced injury and tissue repair and has received numerous accolades over the years, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 from the American College of Toxicology

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