Hall v. Millersville University: Third Circuit Clarifies Title IX Liability for Third Party ConductOn February 1, 2022 by Schnader in Higher Education
Karen Baillie and Danielle Bruno McDermott published a client alert, “Hall v. Millersville University: Third Circuit Clarifies Title IX Liability for Third Party Conduct.”
On January 11, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a precedential opinion in Hall v. Millersville University. The Third Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for Millersville University, and found that federal funding recipients may be held liable under Title IX even when the harassment is committed by third parties completely unaffiliated with the recipient. The Court relied on U.S. Supreme Court decisions holding that funding recipients could be liable under Title IX where the recipient was aware of harassment and had authority to address it, but remained deliberately indifferent.
In short, Hall v. Millersville directs federal funding recipients to act reasonably to protect their students from harassment. This may include, for example, following school policies and affirmatively reaching out to offer support services any time the school is made aware of possible harassment.