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Indiana diocese asks court to dismiss verdict in teacher's IVF case

January 21, 2015

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, has asked a court to dismiss a jury’s decision granting a large financial settlement to a Catholic-school teacher who said she was wrongfully dismissed after undergoing in vitro fertilization.

Emily Herx, a teacher at St. Vincent de Paul School, complained that her contract was not renewed after Church officials learned that she was taking IVF treatments. She argued that her dismissal was a case of sex discrimination.

An Indiana jury found in favor of Hex, and awarded over $1.9 million in damages. Earlier this month, a judge reduced that award to just over $500,000. Diocesan attorneys argue, however, that the decision should be overturned because the courts should not interfere with the Church’s decisions regarding proper standards for teachers in Catholic schools. “It was for the Church to decide whether Herx’s contract should be non-renewed for failing to comply with Church teachings, not a court or jury,” they argue.


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