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Ex-Coach's Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

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Former University of Montana women’s soccer coach Mark Plakorus’ lawsuit against the school has been dismissed.

According to the Missoulian, Plakorus was fired from the position in 2018 after officials learned he had used a school-issued cell phone to text escort services while on a recruiting trip to Las Vegas — despite his departure originally being described as a resignation. 

Plakorus sued the university, alleging that it had violated his right to privacy and breached its duty to protect private information by releasing details of his employment to media outlets. The former coach maintained that while using his school-issued phone was a mistake, anything else he may have done on his own time was his personal business. 

Related: Ex-Montana Soccer Coach Files Defamation Lawsuit

The suit alleged that because of how the university handled his exit, Plakorus’ employment prospects were dealt undue harm. 

District court Judge John Larson dismissed Plakorus’ suit last week, after the university’s lawyers made a motion suggesting that Plakorus had not exhausted his options to resolve the grievance as outlined in his contract, instead skipping ahead to suing. University attorney Quinlan O’Connor was able to argue that the issue Plakorus raised in his suit is one governed by the terms of his contract with the state. 

In his order to dismiss, Larson wrote that because the complaints were contract-based, Plakorus’ suit was subject to a one-year statute of limitations, which expired prior to the filing of the suit. 

Quentin Rhoades, an attorney representing Plakorus, told the Missoulian that he’ll appeal the judges ruling on the grounds that the lawsuit doesn’t represent a contract dispute, but rather a violation of Plakorus’ rights.

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