Posts tagged "1114216"

Harvard Climate Justice Coalition, et al. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-142-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   15-P-905                                        Appeals Court   HARVARD CLIMATE JUSTICE COALITION & others[1]  vs.  PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE & others.[2]     No. 15-P-905.   Suffolk.     June 7, 2016. – October 6, 2016.   Present:  Cypher, Grainger, & Kinder, JJ.     Charity.  Corporation, Charitable corporation.  Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss, Standing.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 19, 2014.   Motions to dismiss were heard by Paul D. Wilson, J.     Joseph E. Hamilton, pro se. Benjamin A. Franta, pro se. Brett Blank, Assistant Attorney General, for the Attorney General. Martin F. Murphy for President and Fellows of Harvard College & another. Jeffrey D. Pierce, of California, & Piper Hoffman, for Animal Legal Defense Fund, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Daniel M. Galpern, of Oregon, & Joseph B. Simons, for James E. Hansen, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     CYPHER, J.  The plaintiffs, Harvard Climate Justice Coalition, an unincorporated association of students at Harvard University (university), and its members, appeal from a Superior Court judgment dismissing their action that sought a permanent injunction requiring the President and Fellows of Harvard College (the university’s formal name) and Harvard Management Company, Inc. (the company that manages the endowment funds) (collectively, Harvard), to divest the university’s endowment of investments in fossil fuel companies.  In a two-count complaint, the plaintiffs allege that those investments contribute to climate changes (commonly known as global warming), which adversely impact their education and in the future will adversely impact the university’s physical campus.  We affirm.[3] The students filed their complaint in November, 2014.  Almost two months later, the defendants, Harvard and the Attorney General,[4] filed motions to dismiss.  In count one of the complaint, the plaintiffs asserted that the harms of global warming resulting from investments in fossil fuel companies constitute mismanagement of the charitable funds in the university’s endowment.  In count two, the plaintiffs sought to assert the rights of “[f]uture [g]enerations” to be free of what the plaintiffs call the “[a]bnormally [d]angerous [a]ctivities” of those companies, and proposed a new tort of “[i]ntentional [i]nvestment in [a]bnormally [d]angerous [a]ctivities.” The judge allowed both motions to dismiss.  As to count one, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that they had standing to maintain their claim of mismanagement of the endowment.  As to count two, the judge declined […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

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