Harvard Can’t Force Insurance Company to Cover $15 Million in Defense Costs in Race Case – Judge
- Judge said Harvard University did not meet the deadline for filing a secondary insurance claim
- The school has already spent $27.5 million to now defend the race case in the Supreme Court
(Reuters) – A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Harvard University had waited too long to ask an insurance company to cover up to $15 million of its expenses to defend its race-sensitive admissions policies in a landmark US Supreme Court case.
US District Judge Alison Burrows in Boston Rule In favor of a unit of the Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. just two days after the country’s Supreme Court I heard a case related to Harvard University It could mean the end of consideration for race in college admissions.
The Ivy League school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is represented by Anderson Kill’s Marshall Jelinsky, did not respond to a request for comment.
Harvard University sought coverage from its major insurer, unit AIG Inc, shortly after filing a lawsuit in 2014 alleging its adoption of race-conscious admissions policies that help black and Latino applicants discriminate against Asian Americans.
The race-based lawsuit alleges that Harvard’s actions violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This case was brought by Students for Fair Admission, a group founded by affirmative action opponent Edward Bloom. It also filed a similar case against the University of North Carolina, which the Supreme Court heard on Monday along with Harvard University.
In the A lawsuit against Harvard University, which presented in Zurich last year, said the costs of defending the student group’s challenge and related government investigation had already exceeded the $25 million limit in AIG’s policy, which was a $2.5 million deductible.
Harvard said defense costs beyond these limits should have been covered by Zurich’s secondary insurer, but the insurer refused, saying the policy required Harvard to provide notice of the claim no later than January 30, 2016, however the university waited until May 23, 2017 to do so.
Harvard lawyers responded to this in Zurich “I definitely knew” With regard to the outstanding case and “technical non-compliance” with the requirements of the notice, it must not provide Zurich with an “escape hatch”.
But in a four-page judgment, Burroughs said, “It is clear that Zurich’s lack of bias, constructive knowledge, or even actual knowledge will not alter Harvard’s obligation to provide notice of full compliance with the terms of the policy.”
Tax returns show that Harvard’s legal expenses dwarf those of Fair Admission students, who have spent less than $8 million pursuing cases. UN Command said it had incurred $24.4 million in expenditures as of mid-July.
Harvard is represented in the race case by attorneys at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr including Seth Waxman, who defended the case during Monday’s Supreme Court proceedings.
The case is President and Fellows of Harvard College v. Zurich American Insurance Company, US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, No. 21-cv-11530.
For Harvard: Marshall Jelinsky, Ethan Middlebrooks, and Jed Sobh from Anderson Keel
For Zurich: Andrew Margulies and Andres Avila by Ropers Majesci; Paul Muniz by Donovan Hatem
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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