Texas Tech won its appeal against Mike Leach and his claims for millions of dollars in compensation are gone. The Seventh Court of Appeals, based in Amarillo, recently took up Texas Tech’s claim of sovereign immunity and reversed the trial court, finding in Tech’s favor.
The Court ruled in its opinion that Leach cannot maintain a breach of contract claim against the university under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This means Leach will be unable to pursue claims for the millions of dollars he claimed he was entitled to under the terms of his contract. There are some remaining issues that the trial court will address, but the big money claims are off the table for now. Leach’s attorney’s have stated they will appeal to the Texas Supreme Court and not surprisingly were unhappy with the ruling:
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. . . That is not fair and not what Texas and its citizens stand for.
Sovereign immunity is a complicated, but suffice it to say a Plaintiff is bringing suit against a governmental entity has an uphill battle. Leach is not coaching and will have to wait on the Texas Supreme Court to see if he can refile his breach of contract claim. We will keep you posted.