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Islamic Relief USA v. Insurance Trust

Islamic Relief USA v. Insurance Trust

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Published by Howard Friedman
Complaint
Complaint

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Howard Friedman on Nov 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Islamic Relief USA,Plaintiff,Court File No. ___________v.Minnesota School Boards AssociationInsurance Trust,Defendant.
COMPLAINT
 Islamic Relief USA (“IRUSA”) for its Complaint against the Minnesota SchoolBoards Association Insurance Trust (“MSBAIT”) states and alleges as follows:
PARTIES
1.
 
Plaintiff IRUSA is a California not-for-profit corporation with its principalplace of business located in Alexandria, Virginia.2.
 
Defendant MSBAIT is, upon information and belief, a Minnesota not-for-profit entity providing insurance programs for its members, organized by the MinnesotaSchool Boards Association and existing under the laws of the State of Minnesota, withits principal place of business located in St. Peter, Minnesota.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
3.
 
Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) because the amount incontroversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, andthe suit is between citizens of different states.
CASE 0:12-cv-02847-DWF-FLN Document 1 Filed 11/13/12 Page 1 of 9
 
 24.
 
Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1) in thatMSBAIT resides in this District.
BACKGROUND FACTS AND NATURE OF THE ACTION
5.
 
This is an action for breach of contract respecting IRUSA’s entitlement tocoverage under a policy of insurance that MSBAIT issued to Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy(“TiZA”) and under which IRUSA was an insured.
The Underlying Lawsuit
6.
 
On or about January 21, 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (“ACLU-MN”) filed an action in this Court under the caption
 American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota v. Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, et al.
, Civil File No. 09-138(DWF-JJG) (the “Underlying Lawsuit”). A true and correct copy of the Complaint isattached as Exhibit A.7.
 
The Underlying Lawsuit names TiZA, IRUSA and others as defendants, andalleges that TiZA and IRUSA
inter alia
“set school policies that endorse and promote asingle religion” and “used tax funds to sponsor and establish a school that is pervasivelysectarian.” (Ex. A, 51). The Underlying Lawsuit sought to require TiZA and IRUSAto, among other things, “correct and eliminate” TiZA’s “establishments of religion.”(
 Id 
., Prayer for Relief, (b)).8.
 
Some of the establishments of religion that the Underlying Lawsuit soughtto require TiZA and IRUSA to correct and eliminate as a result of the civil rightsviolations included a prayer that was prominently posted in the school’s entryway and aprayer rug used primarily for religious purposes. (
 Id 
. ¶ 40).
CASE 0:12-cv-02847-DWF-FLN Document 1 Filed 11/13/12 Page 2 of 9
 
 39.
 
On August 4, 2009, the ACLU-MN filed an amended complaint in theUnderlying Lawsuit, alleging similar civil rights violations. A true and correct copy of the Amended Complaint is attached as Exhibit B.10.
 
Both the Complaint and the Amended Complaint sought attorneys’ fees andcosts from TiZA and IRUSA under the civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1988.
TiZA and the Charter School Contract
11.
 
As a Minnesota charter school, TiZA was required to have a third-party“sponsor,” as that term was defined at the time in the Minnesota Charter School Act. Atthe time of the Underlying Lawsuit, IRUSA was TiZA’s sponsor.12.
 
IRUSA and TiZA memorialized their relationship through a series of charterschool contracts (collectively, the “Charter School Contract”).13.
 
The Charter School Contract required TiZA to indemnify IRUSA againstany liability that IRUSA might suffer as a result of its sponsorship.
The MSBAIT Policy
 14.
 
MSBAIT issued to TiZA a Group Self-Insured Property and Casualty PlanPolicy, No. 2000068005, which was in effect from July 30, 2008 to July 30, 2009 (the“Policy”). A true and correct copy of the Policy is attached as Exhibit C.
1
 15.
 
The MSBAIT Policy provides various types of coverage, including aCommercial General Liability Coverage Part (the “CGL coverage”).
1
The Policy was produced to IRUSA by TiZA during the Underlying Lawsuit,marked “Confidential” under the Protective Order in that case. On September 30, 2010,TiZA withdrew the confidentiality designation in writing.
CASE 0:12-cv-02847-DWF-FLN Document 1 Filed 11/13/12 Page 3 of 9

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