Community & Visitors Parents & Families Future Students Current Students Alumni & Friends Faculty & Staff
02/15/2012

Lawsuit by Former Women's Soccer Team Settled

Quick Facts

 After Winthrop University did not renew her contract, Heinz filed suit alleging that she was terminated because she had complained about gender inequities and harassment.
 Heinz settled her claims against Winthrop University for $35,000 and a reference letter.
 Winthrop University will not pay any monies toward the settlement. In resolving the case, Winthrop University did not admit any liability.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - A federal lawsuit filed by Melissa Heinz in November 2010 against Winthrop University, President Anthony DiGiorgio, Athletic Director Thomas Hickman, and men’s soccer coach Richard Posipanko, has ended.

Heinz is the former women’s soccer coach at Winthrop University, where she coached from 2003 to 2009. During Heinz’s time at Winthrop University, the women’s soccer team had a losing overall record in six out of seven years. After Winthrop University did not renew her contract, Heinz filed suit alleging that she was terminated because she had complained about gender inequities and harassment. Winthrop University denied Heinz’s allegations.

During the course of the lawsuit, Heinz voluntarily dismissed all of her claims against DiGiorgio, Hickman, and Posipanko without any recovery or settlement. She settled her claims against Winthrop University for $35,000 and a reference letter. The settlement is being paid by the S.C. Insurance Reserve Fund.

Winthrop University will not pay any monies toward the settlement. In resolving the case, Winthrop University did not admit any liability.

Under Heinz’s settlement agreement, she “expressly acknowledge[d] that the University does not admit, but rather expressly denies, any liability” to her. Commenting on the settlement, DiGiorgio stated, “I am pleased that no wrongdoing was established in this lawsuit. We understand and respect that for business reasons, insurance companies sometimes have to settle lawsuits.”

The $35,000 settlement paid out to Heinz includes any claim for Heinz’s attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and other costs associated with her lawsuit. 

[Back to Previous Page]