Duke Insurer: Left in the dark, shouldn't have to pay


A local news paper reports that National Union Fire Insurance Company filed court papers that said campus leaders did not tell them about the settlement, which is in violation of their contract.

Duke University is suing the insurance company for failing to cover the costs of its out-of-court settlement with the three players who were found to be falsely accused of rape.

The university says it was barred from disclosing information, because of the settlement's confidentiality clause.

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

Duke suspended Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans in 2006 after a stripper hired to perform at an off-campus party lacrosse team party falsely accused the men of attacking her. All charges were eventually dropped, and men were declared innocent by state prosecutors.

The players and their families piled up millions of dollars in legal expenses defending themselves. They later settled with the university.

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.

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