By Cynthia Dizikes and Todd Lighty | Chicago Tribune
A Northwestern University student filed a lawsuit against the school in 2008, alleging top administrators failed to discipline a student who raped her.
But what happened in the case is a secret.
The student’s complaint, filed under a pseudonym to protect her identity, was sealed shortly after it was filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Northwestern University says the student had the case sealed. The student’s lawyer says that’s not true.
The court order sealing the file that could clear that up? That’s a secret, too.
The Northwestern University legal dispute is one of 163 cases in the Chancery Division that judges have hidden from the public, according to a Tribune analysis of cases sealed since January 2000. Chancery judges handle various legal matters, including mortgage foreclosures, contract disputes and big-money class-action lawsuits.
State law requires that some legal battles be filed under seal, such as whistleblower lawsuits. But the Tribune found chancery judges also have sealed cases for a fellow judge, the Wrigley family and a former Chicago Bulls basketball player.