Yesterday, Jan. 21, The Chronicle published its first and to date only story reporting the response of National Union Fire Insurance, Co.(NU) to a lawsuit Duke University (along with DU Health System) filed in November.
Duke alleges NU is responsible for certain costs associated with lawsuits resulting from Duke’s actions and inactions in connection with the Duke lacrosse case.
The Chronicle’s story quoted Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, who said Duke “can't say much … and the legal system will determine what is owed to Duke."
The story also provided some background to Duke’s suit and reported a NU spokesperson had not “immediately” responded to a request for comment.
But TC’s story said nothing about the extraordinarily serious charges NU made in its response. For example, that Duke had, in its suit filing, made claims against NU which were “knowingly unfounded, malicious, frivolous, and in bad faith.” (See this JinC post)
TC also said nothing about a February 2008 letter concerning which KC Johnson reported:
National Union informed Duke that some of the lacrosse players’ claims—if true—involved actions by University officials beyond topics covered by the insurance policy.NU's allegations are not ones the Allen Building wants bruited about.
The letter cited items such as allegations of “false and misleading statements made with intent to conceal”; “public statements made with deliberate indifference and callous disregard for the truth”; and “repeated proffer of false testimony.” (On this point, allegations regarding Duke’s violation of FERPA seem especially troublesome for the University.)
The carrier also noted that other alleged actions seemed to involve the defendants’ personal behavior (Pres. Brodhead’s public musings about the lacrosse players’ personal character?) rather than any action in their official capacity. …
But they're an extraordinarily important part of the NU-response-to-Duke’s-suit story.
By deciding to say nothing about them, The Chronicle failed its readers.
TC owes readers a follow-up story that details what NU is saying about Duke’s actions and inactions during one of the most important episodes in the university’s history.
The entire TC story’s here.