The state of Arizona paid nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a former University of Arizona track and field athlete.
Baillie Gibson filed her lawsuit after track and field coach Craig Carter was sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting her in his office back in 2015. Carter admitted to police that he grabbed Gibson, who was a thrower for UA, by the throat while holding a box cutter in his other hand and threatening to cut her face. The pair had been involved in a years-long sexual relationship that Gibson said was not consensual.
The total settlement from the case will pay Gibson $999,000.
In November of 2015, Gibson sued Carter and UA, alleging that the school knew about the relationship but failed to intervene. Her preliminary claim, which was filed with the state, asked the state to settle the case for $2.5 million.
Carter and his wife later filed a counterclaim, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress by Gibson, but that case is not part of the current settlement. The settlement agreement between the UA and Gibson includes a “no admission of liability” clause.
“The University of Arizona prohibits all forms of sex discrimination, which includes sexual violence, and we widely publicize resources and avenues available for students and employees who need help and support,” UA spokesman Chris Sigurdson said Friday on behalf of the university. “In this case, when we knew, we acted. As soon as the student-athlete informed us of Carter’s actions, we immediately turned that information over to law enforcement and began the process of terminating him.”
The state paid dearly to defend itself. Tucscon.com reports that as of March 23, the state of Arizona had paid $2.65 million to defend Carter, UA and former athletic director Greg Byrne.
Gibson’s lawyer, Lynne Cardigan, said she waived her fees so that Gibson could get fair compensation, noting that “there’s something wrong with a system that pays more in attorney’s fees than compensating victims of a crime.”