The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Michigan Pays $1.67-Million to Ex-Researcher," The

 

The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Michigan Pays $1.67-Million to Ex-Researcher," The
Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 August 1997, p. 9.

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - The University of Michigan has paid $1.67-million to a former
researcher who claimed that her intellectual property had been pilfered by a professor and used to
secure a grant from the National Institute on Aging.

The case dates to 1990, when Carolyn R. Phinney, a researcher at Michigan's Institute of
Gerontology, sued Marion Perlmutter for fraud. Dr. Perlmutter is a psychology professor and was
her superior at the institute.

Dr. Phinney's research examined how adults' personalities change over the course of their lives.
"Perlmutter lied to me to get privileged access to my research and grant applications so that she
could defraud me of them," she said. Dr. Perlmutter did not return telephone calls.

In 1993, a jury found in Dr. Phinney's favor. An appeals court upheld that decision. Last month
Michigan paid Dr. Phinney to settle on behalf of her and the institute's director, Richard
Adelman.

Dr. Phinney had sued Dr. Adelman and Michigan, saying they had retaliated against her. He did
not return telephone calls.

In 1994, Dr. Phinney lost the lawsuit against Michigan when a judge ruled that the university had
"legitimate nondiscriminatory" reasons for denying her jobs.

A spokeswoman for the university said it had agreed to pay Dr. Phinney "to put the issue to rest,
but that it believed her legal victories were "in error."