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Court rules university’s insurance company must cover expenses from Fine investigation

UPDATED: March 8, 2013, 3:53 p.m.

The financial losses incurred by Syracuse University during the Bernie Fine sexual abuse allegations will be covered by its Pittsburgh-based insurance company, a state Supreme Court justice ruled Thursday.

Justice Donald Greenwood ruled National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh must pay for the cost of state and federal subpoenas related to the investigation and the university’s defense costs, according to court documents.

SU claimed completion of the subpoenas cost “millions of dollars,” according to the documents.

Ken Frenchman, one of SU’s lawyers, declined to comment in an email because the litigation is ongoing.

Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs at SU, also declined to comment in an email.

National Union insured SU under a policy that protects against certain civil, criminal, administrative and regulatory proceedings. The policy insures the university for losses up to $25 million, with a $250,000 retention. The two parties disputed whether the costs of responding to the subpoenas were covered under the policy.

The university filed a lawsuit for breach of contract on Aug. 22, 2012, and National Union filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed less than three months later, according to court documents.

SU fired Fine, former associate head men’s basketball coach, on Nov. 27, 2011. He has denied all wrongdoing and wasn’t charged.

The Daily Orange will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

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