A settlement was recently reached between a former Yale basketball captain and the university, ending a sexual misconduct lawsuit.
Earlier this week, former Yale basketball captain, Jack Montague, settled a lawsuit with the school he filed nearly three years ago when he was expelled for alleged sexual misconduct. Because the suit reached a settlement, the case was dismissed in court, “with both the plaintiffs and the defendants agreeing to bear their own respective costs and fees.”
What happened, though? Why was Montague expelled in the first place? Well, according to the suit filed back in June 2016, he was “expelled for penetration without consent.” In his suit he alleged “breach of contract and violation of his Title IX rights, arguing that Yale sought to make an example of his case for the sake of restoring [the University’s] tarnished image.” In filing the suit, Montague hoped to have his expulsion overturned so he could “complete his final term at Yale.”
This isn’t the first time Yale has been sued for alleged sexual assault allegations, though. Through the years, many male students have sued the university, especially after Yale’s Committee on Sexual Misconduct “disciplined them for sexual misconduct.” Oftentimes, however, those cases “resulted in the plaintiff quietly dropping the lawsuit after several months.” Montague’s suit was similar to many of his classmates in that he argued that Yale’s “disciplinary ruling was a result of an unfair process.” However, unlike the other cases, his received an “unprecedented amount of public scrutiny that sparked multiple protests and thrust every court ruling related to the lawsuit into the national spotlight.”
Not everyone was expecting a settlement agreement so suddenly, though. For example, Katharine Baker, “an expert on campus sexual misconduct based at Chicago-Kent College of Law,” chimed in an said it’s “difficult to determine why the parties chose to settle and what the broader implications of this case may be without knowing the settlement’s terms, which were determined privately.” She also added that Yale has to be careful because the recent settlement “could send the message that it may be worth it for other students who have been disciplined for sexual misconduct to file similar suits against the University.” She did, however, note that the university may have agreed to the confidential settlement in order to avoid the costs of prolonged litigation. She said:
“It would be wrong to interpret this as Yale admitting that what [Montague] said was true. It could very well be that Yale said the process of proving that [they’re] right is going to be more expensive than settling, and not worth it given everything else that’s going to come out.”