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Federal Court Rules Against Oklahoma State U. in Life-Insurance Case

Oklahoma State University may not be reimbursed the $33-million it paid toward life-insurance policies on the lives of 27 athletics boosters, a federal court ruled last week. Cowboy Athletics, the university’s athletics fund-raising arm, and T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oilman and Oklahoma State donor who helped arrange the deals, had sought their money back from premiums and commissions they paid in 2007 and 2008. They argued that the insurer, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, had breached its contract with the university by not physically delivering the policies, and by misrepresenting the financial risk involved in the deals. In his decision, Judge Jorge A. Solis, of the U.S. District Court in Dallas, ruled summarily that Cowboy Athletics had waived the right to require physical delivery of the policies. He also ruled that the company’s agents did not misrepresent the risk involved. A separate claim filed by the university involving the same issues and parties is still pending in state court in Oklahoma.

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