Texas man sues Canadian college for breach of contract

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 7, 2010, 2:00pm

TYLER -- Tyler resident John Cutcliffe claims he was under a two-year contract to run a Canadian nursing school, but was forced out in less than a year because he refused to violate his professional ethics.

Stenberg College signed Cutcliffe to a contract to last from April 2007 to July 2009 for the purpose of running certified nursing programs for its locations in British Columbia and in Alberta, Canada.

After 10 months of attempting to fulfill his contractual obligations, Cutcliffe claims he was forced to give six months notice of intent to resign after the college wanted him to operate outside of the legally mandated parameters of his professional and ethical codes of conduct, placing his nursing license in jeopardy.

Alleging breach of express and implied contracts, Cutcliffe filed a lawsuit against Stenberg College on Oct. 23, 2009, in the 241st Judicial District of Court of Smith County. The defendant removed the case to the Tyler federal court of the Eastern District of Texas on March 2.

Cutcliffe states the college committed multiple breaches of its obligations under the consulting agreement, including failing to allocate any budget or human resources for the expansion of the nursing program and not allowing Cutcliffe to retain complete control over the details of the program.

The plaintiff is asking the court to award $115,000 for the breach of contract, $70,000 for the summer salary lost by reason of failure of the defendant to cooperate in the grant application process, and $16,974.51 for 20 extra days worked pursuant to the per diem provision in the contract.

Cutcliffe is requesting a trial by jury.

Tyler attorney William S. Hommel, Jr. is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 6:10cv00072

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