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Legal Publication: UMKC Agrees To Pay $360,000 To Professor Who Alleged Retaliation

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The UMKC School of Pharmacy at 24th and Charlotte streets.

The University of Missouri has settled two lawsuits brought by a UMKC professor who said he was the victim of retaliation after he reported alleged abuses by another professor, according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

The legal publication said the university has agreed to pay $360,000 to Mridul Mukherji to resolve the lawsuits. The publication said it obtained the information through a public records request.  

Mukherji, an associate professor at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, claimed he faced discrimination and harassment after reporting to UMKC that another pharmacy professor, Ashim Mitra, had exploited students for free labor.

The Kansas City Star reported last year that Mitra, over the course of his 25-year career at UMKC, had pressured Indian students into performing domestic chores for him, on pain of losing their visas. Mitra is from India.

The university is suing Mitra, his wife and two drug companies, accusing them of defrauding the university of at least $1.5 million by stealing a student’s research and selling it.

Mitra, who has denied the claim, has since resigned from the university.

Mukherji, who is also from India, alleged in one lawsuit that after he complained about Mitra, his pay was reduced. He added claims of race discrimination, disability discrimination, hostile work environment and conspiracy in a second lawsuit.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported that Christian Basi, a spokesman for the university, said the cases were “resolved to both parties’ satisfaction.”

KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.

As a reporter covering breaking news and legal affairs, I want to demystify often-complex legal issues in order to expose the visible and invisible ways they affect people’s lives. I cover issues of justice and equity, and seek to ensure that significant and often under-covered developments get the attention they deserve so that KCUR listeners and readers are equipped with the knowledge they need to act as better informed citizens. Email me at dan@kcur.org.
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