HWANG v. KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
GRACE HWANG, Plaintiff,
KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, Defendant.
Case No. 11-4185-EFM.
United States District Court, D. Kansas.
February 28, 2013.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ERIC F. MELGREN, District Judge.
Defendant Kansas State University brings this motion to dismiss Plaintiff Grace Hwang's lawsuit alleging violations of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.1 Hwang argues that KSU discriminated against her by forcing her to resign following a bone marrow transplant and then retaliated against her when she filed a grievance claim. KSU moves to dismiss the amended complaint on the grounds that Hwang failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Although the Court is sympathetic to Hwang's misfortunes, the Court finds that she has failed to allege sufficient facts to maintain any of her claims against KSU and, therefore, grants the motion to dismiss.I. Factual and Procedural Background
Plaintiff Grace Hwang was employed as a professor at Defendant Kansas State University from 1994 until February 2010. Hwang was a Fulbright Scholar who graduated from KSU and also received a graduate degree at Tufts University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. In the fall of 1994, Hwang began serving as an adjunct professor in KSU's MBA program. In 2005, she was elevated to an assistant professor in KSU's School of Leadership Studies. Hwang was employed through a year-to-year contract, although she alleges that it was the policy and practice of KSU to renew such contracts as a matter of course, absent reason to discharge the employee for cause. Hwang asserts that, while employed at KSU, she continuously received praise and positive evaluations from her supervisors and students, and that she maintained a favorable reputation on campus.
In 2005, Hwang underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment for breast cancer. She missed less than three weeks of work due to her illness, and subsequently returned to teach her full load of classes.
On June 23, 2009, Hwang again became ill and was diagnosed with leukemia. She was told that her survival depended on an aggressive course of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Hwang immediately received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. After the transplant, Hwang's immune system was compromised and she was still undergoing chemotherapy treatment. She therefore spent three months at the KU Medical Center, followed by three months at Hope Lodge, an inpatient cancer facility.