Lawsuit Filed Against FSU

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

A lawsuit is slapped on Florida State University. It comes from one of the university's own professors.

Dr. Robert Holton is known for his potentially lifesaving cancer drug Taxol.

Holton says the university reneged on a deal to make a molecular research program as part of the university's new chemistry building. It is a move he says will cost FSU in the long run.

"We are deeply disheartened that it has come to this. I'm embarrassed and disgusted. It is a sad day for FSU," says Holton, who claims the new chemistry building planned for FSU will not include his Molecular Research Program.

"FSU is now saying it intends to renege on the agreement, taking funds set aside for the specialized research facility and spending that money, instead, on a general chemistry building,” explains Mike Devine, Director of the MDS Foundation.

In a statement from the university, FSU plans to continue the chemistry building, but will not comment on Holton’s lawsuit or any pending litigation.

"If you are going to build the type of program envisioned, to be cutting edge and put FSU at the top of the list, you have to have the facilities,” says Tom Brooks, Holton’s attorney.

With the lawsuit, about $40 million towards the chemistry building is in jeopardy.

The total includes money for Taxol royalties, gifts from the MDS Foundation and matching dollars from the state.

Holton supporters say there is a strong possibility they would go back to table with FSU.

"We will certainly keep trying, but there comes a certain point where you have to protect your legal interests, and we think we are at that point," adds Brooks.


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