Top University May Be SUED – The Court Supports It!
(TheRedWire.com) – In April, a Harvard University report showed that slavery helped construct the campus and aided the school’s rise in international prominence. The study concluded the school embraced slavery during the colonial period, and the school’s presidents, faculty, and staff enslaved over 70 people. Norwich, Connecticut, resident Tamara Lanier filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the school. She claimed that pictures taken of her enslaved ancestors left her conflicted and in emotional distress.
In a first-of-its-kind court ruling, the Massachusetts state Supreme Court ruled Lanier has a credible case. The court said photographs taken during the 1850s of the plaintiff’s ancestors could have caused her suffering and reckless infliction of emotional distress.
A Connecticut woman who says she's a descendant of slaves portrayed in widely-published, historical photos owned by Harvard can sue for emotional distress, Massachusetts' highest court ruled. https://t.co/tflnb1snyU
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) June 23, 2022
Lanier’s attorneys said Harvard exploited her Black ancestors and intended to fight for legal and moral justice against the university. The attorney also alleged that the school damaged and degraded Lanier’s and her ancestor’s humanity through their exploitation and enslavement of Black people.
Laniers’ lawsuit against Harvard said a school botanist in the 1850s took the photo of her ancestors, Renty Taylor, and his daughter, Delia Taylor. The lawsuit contends that the professor did so without their permission and exploited their existence for profit. Harvard recently announced a $100 million endowment to help the school work toward righting past wrongs.
So, will the case make its way to a jury? If so, could it open the door to other lawsuits?
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