Jury selection startsin gym coach’s lawsuit

Andrew Tellijohn

A dispute between the University and former women’s gymnastics coach Katalin Deli returned to Hennepin County District Court on Wednesday, about a year since the last court appearance.
At issue is whether women’s athletics director Chris Voelz violated a verbal promise Deli claimed Voelz made to her — that she would not view a videotape made by Deli’s husband Gabor, also a former University women’s gymnastics coach.
Jury selection began in the dispute Wednesday.
Complaints allege that Katalin Deli voluntarily turned over a copy of the videocassette to Voelz in exchange for a promise that Voelz would not view the tape, a promise Voelz says was never made.
Deli, who coached at the University for about 20 years, claims that she was damaged by the broken promise and is suing the University for unspecified monetary damages. The University denies making or breaking the promise in question.
The Delis first sued the school after they were fired in 1992. Voelz fired the couple after the videotape was accidentally shown to the team during a practice. The tape contained scenes of the couple having sex.
A Hennepin County court ruled in favor of the University in both Katalin and Gabor Deli’s claims that the University violated the Data Practices Act, which says that an individual’s personnel information cannot be released by government entities during disciplinary proceedings. Voelz discussed proceedings of the Delis’ performance reviews with the local media, but the judge ruled that she was speaking about her own impressions and not recorded data, therefore not violating the act.
Gabor Deli also claimed the University gained “unjust enrichment” from its use of the Delis’ personally owned gymnastics facilities where the team practiced, an assertion the judge also ruled against.
However, in Katalin Deli’s case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the ruling in her data practices claim.
A clerk in Judge Andrew Danielson’s office said jury selection should be completed today and opening arguments could take place today or Friday.