More than a year after the Supreme Court ruled that a student evangelist can sue his former school for “nominal damages” for First Amendment violations, without showing measurable economic harm, the two parties have reached a hefty settlement.
Georgia Gwinnett College, a state institution, agreed to pay Chike Uzuegbunam and Joseph Bradford more than $800,000 in attorney’s fees and nominal damages, according to the students’ lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The stipulated dismissal doesn’t include the settlement itself, but nominal damages — representing hard-to-quantify harms such as constitutional violations — are usually $1 per plaintiff, meaning nearly all the settlement goes to attorney fees.
College officials twice shut down Uzuegbunam for evangelizing on campus, first for proselytizing without a permit and then for drawing complaints from passers-by — even though he obtained a permit for proselytizing.
Bradford alleged his evangelism was unconstitutionally chilled because of the actions against Uzuegbunam, though the settlement was reached before the trial court could determine whether he had “established a past, completed injury.” more