LYNCHBURG, Va. – Former Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. has filed a $8.5 million lawsuit against the university, claiming that his retirement benefits were wrongfully denied to him.
This lawsuit comes after Falwell resigned from Liberty University on Aug. 24, 2020, after news surfaced that he had been at the center of a surreptitious sexual relationship involving his wife Becki Falwell, and Giancarlo Granda, a former Miami pool boy.
Falwell’s official last day at the university was Aug. 24, 2020, with Liberty University stating that its “heartfelt prayers are with him and his family as he steps away from his life’s work.”
Not long after his resignation, he announced that although he had resigned, his contract entitles him to $10.5 million because he was leaving without being formally accused or admitting to fault, the Washington Post reported.
Now, he’s suing the university for more than $8M in retirement funds, alleging that it was never paid to him.
Looking back on his time at university, the court documents stated that while there, Falwell was instrumental in the success of its students.
According to documents, during his time as president enrollment increased from 9,600 residential students and 27,000 online students to 15,000 residential students and 108,000 online students. Records also claim that he saved the school from financial ruin and that his leadership and business model continue to sustain the school, even today.
Court documents state that to recognize his efforts, Liberty University entered an employment agreement, effective April 1, 2012, agreeing to compensate him fairly and formalize a long-term employment relationship through SERP, standing for a Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan.
According to officials, the 2012 Employment Agreement provided for a term of seven years and three months, or until June 30, 2019, and at the conclusion of this agreement, Liberty and Falwell began discussing a second employment agreement, effective July 1, 2019.
The lawsuit continues, stating that Falwell is entitled to receive the entirety of retirement benefits owed to him, adding that Liberty University is wrongfully denying him his benefits despite him meeting every requirement set forth in the SERP for payment of the benefits due on September 1, 2022.
Liberty has not provided benefits since he left, the court documents claim.
10 News reached out to Liberty University officials and received the following response:
“This claim is part of a larger dispute currently pending in state court. The University will defend the new action on the same grounds it has already pled on the record in the state case. Liberty is confident it is not legally required to pay these funds and will file the appropriate responses with the federal court.”Liberty University spokesperson
You can read the full lawsuit below:
Jerry Falwell Jr. sues LU for nearly $8 million by WSLS on Scribd