MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


The Office of Insurance and Legal Affairs serves the Institute's needs for addressing property and casualty insurance exposures and claims and in responding to a variety of legal issues.

The office continued to work with Physical Plant and MIT's property insurer to resolve two major claims pertaining to the Cogeneration Facility. To date the Institute has recovered $571,575. During the year, the facility ran smoothly and incurred no additional losses.

The Plasma Science and Fusion Generator did suffer two major outages during the year. Total claims exceeded $750,000, for which MIT's insurer has already paid $721,000.

In December, there was a significant fire in Building 20A. Costs incurred to date from this incident are $88,000, including over $28,000 in asbestos abatement costs.

Additional property losses paid by the office during the year totaled $295,000, of which 51 percent were attributed to computer thefts. Heavy rains late in the year caused an estimated $100,000 or more in expenses due to water damage, hazardous waste cleanup, and general cleanup campus wide.

Premiums for all lines of insurance remained level for the year within a budget of $3.3 million.

Mediation efforts to resolve the so-called "Fernald School" case resulted in a settlement of $1,387,500, which MIT paid in order to be released from the lawsuit.

After the Appeals Court affirmed the trial court's decision on a case involving a pole-vaulting injury, MIT decided to settle at $790,000 rather than appeal the matter further. Several other pending lawsuits against the Institute were settled at a total cost of $426,600.

A long-standing claim against the Institute, relating to a violation of a licensing agreement, was settled at no monetary loss to the Institute due to indemnification by other parties also named in the suit. As a result of the settlement, the Institute received certain payments as royalties.

During the year over 100 students were given guidance on a wide spectrum of legal-related problems or questions.

Thomas R. Henneberry

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98