Insurer won't pay Duke lacrosse players

November 24, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Duke University's insurer has refused to pay any of the settlement between the school and any of the players involved in the Duke lacrosse scandal. Now, the school has filed suit in federal court to try and force National Union Fire insurance to pay.

Last June, Duke reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the three former lacrosse players falsely accused of rape.

Duke suspended Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans in 2006 after they were charged with assaulting a stripper at an off-campus party. The three were later exonerated.

The players and their families piled up millions of dollars in legal expenses defending themselves. They settled with the University. A lawsuit against Durham County is still pending.

Former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong was disbarred for his handling of the case. No DNA from any Duke lacrosse player was found on the accuser, and exculpatory evidence that genetic material from other unidentified males was found on the woman was withheld from the defense for several months.

In its lawsuit filed in federal court, Duke University says National Union breached its contractual duty to pay defense costs and to indemnify Duke in claims and lawsuits brought against the school.

"National Union’s actions in adjusting and denying the Underlying Claims were willful, wanton, malicious, without justification or excuse, and taken in bad faith to further National Union’s own improper objectives and with the conscious intent to injure Duke," reads the lawsuit.

Neither Duke or National Union is commenting on the lawsuit.

Click here to read the full text of the lawsuit


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