Plaintiffs Dismiss Original Newcomb Lawsuit

September 30, 2008

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Tulane University received notice on Wednesday, Sept. 24, that attorneys for Parma Matthis Howard and Jane Matthis Smith, two alleged heirs of Josephine Louise Newcomb, have dismissed their lawsuit, with prejudice, against Tulane University. The two plaintiffs filed suit against Tulane protesting the merger of Newcomb with six other colleges at Tulane University following Hurricane Katrina. 

“For more than two years, these plaintiffs steadfastly asserted their rights as heirs and conducted extensive public relations and fundraising campaigns to promote their cause. Now, they have dismissed that original lawsuit, calling into question the basis for all of those activities – from the filing of an unfounded lawsuit to a misguided grass roots effort based on misstatement of fact and law,” said Debbie Grant, vice president of communications, Tulane University.

A new lawsuit was recently filed by Susan Henderson Montgomery, another would-be heir that attempts to raise the same issues as the first case. Tulane's response is the same:  Mrs. Newcomb clearly intended that no conditions apply to the Board of Tulane over how to use her donations. For more than 100 years, and continuing today, Tulane has promoted women’s education and honored Mrs. Newcomb and her daughter in the process.  Women's education continues to thrive at Tulane with women outnumbering men in this year's incoming class.

Tulane University's position in this matter has prevailed in three separate court rulings. We remain confident in our position in this matter.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000