Heard: June 7, 2016.
action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November
to dismiss were heard by Paul D. Wilson, J.
E. Hamilton, pro se.
Benjamin A. Franta, pro se.
Blank, Assistant Attorney General, for the Attorney General.
F. Murphy for President and Fellows of Harvard College &
Jeffrey D. Pierce, of California, & Piper Hoffman, for
Animal Legal Defense Fund, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.
M. Galpern, of Oregon, & Joseph B. Simons, for James E.
Hansen, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.
Present: Cypher, Grainger, & Kinder, JJ.
plaintiffs, Harvard Climate Justice Coalition, an
unincorporated association of students at Harvard University
(university), and its members, appeal from a Superior Court
judgment dismissing their action that sought a permanent
injunction requiring the President and Fellows of Harvard
College (the university's formal name) and Harvard
Management Company, Inc. (the company that manages the
endowment funds) (collectively, Harvard), to divest the
university's endowment of investments in fossil fuel
companies. In a two-count complaint, the plaintiffs allege
that those investments contribute to climate changes
(commonly known as global warming), which adversely impact
their education and in the future will adversely impact the
university's physical campus. We affirm.
students filed their complaint in November, 2014. Almost two
months later, the defendants, Harvard and the Attorney
General,  filed motions to dismiss. In count one
of the complaint, the plaintiffs asserted that the harms of
global warming resulting from investments in fossil fuel
companies constitute mismanagement of the charitable funds in
the university's endowment. In count two, the plaintiffs
sought to assert the rights of "[f]uture
[g]enerations" to be free of what the plaintiffs call
the "[a]bnormally [d]angerous [a]ctivities" of
those companies, and proposed a new tort of
"[i]ntentional [i]nvestment in [a]bnormally [d]angerous
judge allowed both motions to dismiss. As to count one, the
judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that they had
standing to maintain their claim of mismanagement of the
endowment. As to count two, the judge declined to allow the
plaintiffs to assert the ...