Sunday, August 27, 2017

Lawsuits by Students Accused of Sexual Assault Can be Expensive for Colleges

From what I read, often colleges conduct their proceedings with insufficient regard to the need to legally train the decision makers and from a lack of understanding of what due process and basic notions of sufficient evidence require. The final determinations may be correct or incorrect, but the important and question is whether they can withstand a court battle. I think schools need to involve lawyers. From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Over the past six years, more students who believe they were falsely accused of sexual assault have sued colleges. And even though those students seldom win in the courts, the costs for colleges to fend them off are adding up.

United Educators, a risk-management and insurance firm, reviewed dozens of cases from 2011 to 2015 in which colleges filed claims with the company involving accused students and eventually suffered financial losses. Most of the cases were lawsuits or "demand letters," another form of legal action. On average, United Educators and colleges ended up paying $187,000 per case.

In 40 percent of the cases, institutions were out more than $200,000. On one occasion, a legal fight cost a college $1 million. (Those figures include the expense of hiring lawyers as well as settlement payments and other costs associated with resolving a case.)

You can read more here.


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