Former UMKC student suing medical school

Former six-year medical school student Joshua Carter is suing the UMKC School of Medicine.  The lawsuit alleges the university violated the RICO Act by disregarding its own policies to commit a racketeering pattern against it students.  The lawsuit also claims UMKC violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act through a breach of contract against Carter.

In his lawsuit, Carter alleges several complaints against UMKC. These include:

  • requiring him to retake an entire year of courses he had already completed
  • not counting completed courses towards his GPA
  • requiring him to take courses that did not count towards his degree
  • refusing to release an accurate transcript

Because of these and other accusations, Carter alleges UMKC required him to pay additional and unnecessary tuition and fees.

UMKC Director of Media Relations, John Martellaro, declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing pending litigation.

Carter completed year 1 of the program and met the requirements to move on to year 2.  During the summer of year 2, Carter took cell biology, but did not earn a sufficient grade.  Even though year 2 students are allowed to retake classes to try for a better grade, Carter says he was made to enroll in the Alternate Curriculum Pathway, against university policy.  According to UMKC policy, only year 1 students who do not meet requirements must enroll in the Alternate Curriculum Pathway.

When Carter retook cell biology, he received an A, but he alleges his advisors refused to replace the grade.  Instead, he says, they averaged it.  This brought Carter’s science GPA down and lowered his overall GPA.  He also claims he did not receive credit for other courses he took and passed.

While Carter was a student at UMKC, he did earn his Bachelor of Liberal Arts.  However, in the lawsuit he filed, he alleged that UMKC faculty required him to take multiple biology courses that would not count towards a biology, liberal arts or medical degree.

Since leaving UMKC, Carter has attempted to enroll in graduate programs at other institutions.  However, the university has allegedly refused to release accurate transcripts for Carter.  He claims the university inaccurately computed his GPA, and as a result it appears lower than it actually is.  Subsequently, he says other academic programs will not admit him.

When asked about the difficulties he’s had trying to enroll in graduate school, Carter said, “I’m in this limbo where the grad school I want to go to is saying ‘We’ll take you, but we need the rest of your transcripts.’”

In an interview with Carter’s lawyer, Chris Dove, he said that after the Kansas City Business Journal published an article on Carter’s lawsuit, several other former students have come forward alleging similar complaints against the medical school.

Carter is seeking compensation for his economic losses, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.


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