A scientist who was accused of falsifying data in research on the purported health benefits of red wine has reportedly sued the University of Connecticut, claiming that it wrongfully dismissed him and violated his civil rights in doing so. Das v. Univ. of Conn. Bd. of Trustees, No. 13-6039748 (Conn. Super. Ct., Hartford, filed March 5, 2013).
Dipak Das alleges that he was not allowed to introduce exhibits and testimony or to cross-examine witnesses during his five-day dismissal hearing, the culmination of an investigation that apparently found that he had fabricated and falsified data. He also alleges that the university notified 11 scientific journals before the investigative report on which the termination was based had been completed to advise them that he had “committed research misconduct,” and that the university did this “as a means of coercing the plaintiff into settling by harming his reputation and standing in the scientific community.”
According to a news source, Das became famous for research on the purported health benefits of natural ingredients, including the resveratrol in red wine. It was thought to promote longevity in laboratory animals. Das apparently demands reinstatement with tenure, lost wages and benefits, restoration of $1.5 million in National Institutes of Health funding, and an order for the university to rescind the notification of research misconduct. See Courthouse News Service, March 7, 2013.