A former UCSB student who filed suit against the university for damages to his person failed to appear in court yesterday.
David Gelsinger, who attended UCSB from 2003 to 2004, was scheduled to appear at Santa Barbara County Superior Court yesterday for a civil management case, which contains more than 80 pages of complaints. Gelsinger alleges that various individuals at UCSB threatened and jostled him while he was a student.
However, Gelsinger failed to appear, instead phoning Judge Denise de Bellefeuille to request an extension for serving his cases against the institution.
In a detailed complaint stating reasons for UCSB’s liability, Gelsinger cites several incidents occurring in San Rafael Residence Hall between November 2003 and January 2004. The plaintiff claims that residents of the dormitory exhibited a range of abusive behavior, including defamation of character, libel and unnecessary door slamming.
Included in the 80-page summary are complaints about former San Rafael resident David Sun, who Gelsinger alleges made comments such as “What a cock,” “What a fag” and “Remember the Alamo” while outside the former UCSB student’s dormitory room. Additionally, Gelsinger alleges that his leg was kicked three times while in the dining commons – twice by a person getting bread and once by an employee. Another accusation concerned a university cook who allegedly snapped a leather belt in front of Gelsinger.
University of California Regents Attorney Karen Peabody, who is defending UCSB, alleged that the former student’s claims lacked solid foundations.
“To be perfectly honest, I think David Gelsinger is a troubled young man who filed a number of lawsuits alleging things that happened years ago,” Peabody said. “His lawsuits are all meritless, but he has it stuck in his mind that the problems in his life are because of things that happened at UCSB.”
Still, Gelsinger holds that an extensive list of defendants intentionally caused him harm. He documents a series of incidents he claims fall under the legal categories of physical and verbal abuse, demeaning treatment, threatening behavior and interference with his life and studies. A significant portion of these claims concerns the dining commons.
However, according to Peabody, the plaintiff has failed to complete paperwork necessary for registering the cases.
“He has not made an appearance to serve the complaints filed,” Peabody said. “Once a plaintiff files a lawsuit, they must then serve the summons and complaint.”
According to Peabody, Gelsinger filed a total of seven suits against the university in the last year, three of which were dismissed. Yesterday Gelsinger was granted an extension for serving his respective complaints.
In the two civil cases, Gelsinger v. UCSB Housing and Residential Services and Gelsinger v. UCSB Registrar’s Office, the plaintiff filed suit against 12 specific individuals, 35 unspecified UCSB students and staff members as well as the UCSB College of Letters & Science and eight UCSB Housing and Residential Services facilities.
Following his failure to appear, Gelsinger v. UCSB Housing and Residential Services was rescheduled for Mar. 20, while Gelsinger v. UCSB Registrar’s Office was pushed back until Apr. 24. A civil management case for an additional suit against the university, David Gelsinger v. University Center at UCSB, is scheduled for Wednesday of next week.
In a speakerphone courtroom conversation with Judge de Bellefeuille, Gelsinger committed to completing the litigation process.
“I’m going to get it done,” he said.