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New Trial Ordered in Suit That Saw $1M Award for Ex-student

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered a new trial in a former nursing student’s lawsuit against Clarkson College in which a jury awarded her $1 million.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the award was issued last year after Kelly Armstrong sued the Omaha college, saying the school wrongly kicked her out of its nurse anesthetist program.

Armstrong was initially placed on probation after an incident during a 2013 nursing conference in Washington, D.C., in which she made a crude joke on a bus about pubic hair. Others on the bus, including officials from the college, said her behavior was lewd and violated school rules.

She sued after she was kicked out without being given a hearing to defend herself.

On Friday, the state’s high court said the trial judge erred when he failed to instruct jurors, at the college’s request, that Armstrong had not used the college’s grievance procedure before filing her lawsuit.

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