Judge Gives Preliminary Approval In Dartmouth Sexual Misconduct Settlement

Jan 30, 2020

Credit NHPR Staff

A federal judge has granted preliminary approval of a $14 million settlement in a class action sexual misconduct lawsuit against Dartmouth College.

Judge Landya McCafferty says she’s likely to approve the proposed class definition and the proposed settlement in this case, noting that the proposed class meets four standards set out in federal civil law. 

Nine women sued Dartmouth in 2018, alleging that the college violated Title IX and did not protect them from abuse and harassment by three professors.

The parties estimate there are about 90 people in the class, consisting of current and former women graduate students who worked with the three professors between April 1, 2012 and August 31, 2017.

Each class member would receive a base pay of one thousand dollars, and to receive a supplemental payment, class members would need to submit a form describing the impact the professors’ misconduct had on their lives. 

As part of the settlement, the parties also agreed to work together on initiatives funded by the college, which would include an expansion of the Provost's diversity fund and a commitment to expanding, as needed, Dartmouth's partnership with WISE, an Upper Valley organization working to end gender-based violence. 

Judge McCafferty ordered the class counsel to notify members of the proposed class of the settlement by Friday, February 12.  

A fairness hearing will be held on June 25, which will help determine whether the judge grants final approval.