Palmer Announces Dismissal of Defamation of Character Lawsuit Against Seven Members of its Former Alumni Association

Palmer College of Chiropractic officials have announced the positive outcome of the lawsuit filed against the former Palmer alumni association and the members of its executive committee. This defamation of character lawsuit was based on untrue statements and character attacks made in 2004 against members of the Palmer Board of Trustees, the College and the administration. On Thursday, June 26, an agreement was reached with the seven members of the former alumni association. The settlement agreement allowed the College to dismiss its defamation of character lawsuit against those individuals. “All we’ve ever asked is that these individuals issue an apology to members of the Palmer Board of Trustees as well as the College administration, and we would dismiss the lawsuit,” said Palmer Board of Trustees Chairman Trevor Ireland, D.C. “The Board’s intention in filing the lawsuit was to have the record set straight. As a Board, we held fast on our position that we would dismiss the lawsuit as soon as these individuals issued a public apology and admitted that their comments pertaining to the Palmer Board of Trustees, its members and the College administration were not true. We are very pleased with this outcome.” On June 26, the alumni—John Willis, D.C., David Reopelle, D.C., Ted Conger, D.C., Kirk Lee, D.C., Marc Leuenberg, D.C., Frank Bemis, D.C., and Scott Harris, D.C.—issued a collective public apology to the Board, the College and the administration. The Board accepted the apology and retraction, and the lawsuit was then dismissed. The apology and retraction from the named alumni is as follows: “We acknowledge that this situation has developed into something entirely different from anything we desire. We certainly do not now, nor have ever, wanted to harm Vickie Palmer or Palmer College or impugn their reputation in any manner. We apologize for any comments or actions which Vickie Palmer or Palmer College may have deemed offensive to them. We acknowledge that Vickie Anne Palmer has received nothing from Palmer College except for expense reimbursements in connection with her services as a trustee and chairperson of the board of trustees. In addition, we fully understand the governing structure of Palmer College of Chiropractic. The board of trustees makes and has always made the substantive policy decisions. Such decisions are not made by administrative personnel. We believed we exercised our First Amendment Rights. If we exceeded our Constitutional rights, we apologize. We apologize for the inconvenience and injured feelings Ms. Palmer and the trustees may have undergone.” “I am very pleased that Palmer was able to dismiss the lawsuit against these individuals,” said Palmer Chancellor Larry Patten. “I am extremely proud of the Palmer Board of Trustees for its firm position relating to those who may choose to wrongfully denounce our people and our purpose. We appreciate the public apology. We are happy to have this matter behind us so that we can devote all of our energies and attention to moving the College forward.”

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