Professor’s COBRA Denial Suit Thrown Out

May 28, 2010 ( – A federal judge has cleared a Williamstown, Massachusetts, college of wrongdoing in connection with allegations from a former instructor that he was improperly denied continuing health benefits when he was terminated.

U. S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that Williams College was within its legal authority in refusing to provide plaintiff Bernard Moore continuing health coverage under COBRA. 

College officials argued Moore was ineligible for the continuing health coverage since he was terminated for gross misconduct.  Moore’s termination letter cited four reasons for his dismissal: his guilty plea to bank, Social Security, and student aid fraud; failure to notify the employer of the crimes; misuse of a college credit card; and use of fraudulent credentials to obtain employment.

Ponsor accepted the college’s request to dismiss the Moore suit.

“The conduct in this case is sufficiently outrageous to constitute gross misconduct, and while it did not arise from an “evil design” to harm Defendant, it indicated a reckless disrCegard for Defendant’s interests,” Ponsor wrote.

The case is Moore v. Williams College, D. Mass., 09-cv-30208-MAP