Former art student drops suit against Yale

Annabel Osberg, the former Yale Art School student who claimed she was expelled because of her age, has dropped her lawsuit against the University.

In spring 2008, Osberg was expelled from the Yale Art School’s master of fine arts program in painting and printmaking at the end of her first year. Osberg, who was only 17 when she was admitted to the program, said she was expelled because of her age and sued, alleging Yale said she was “too immature and too young” to receive her degree and because she “listened too much to her instructors’ advice.” The average age of a student in the program is 27.

Osberg sought a court order to allow her to return to Yale and to give her thousands of dollars in damages. She will get neither.

Her attorney, John Williams, said Monday the decision to drop the case had nothing to do with the case’s merits. Osberg decided that the case was more hassle than it was worth, Williams said. Osberg was admitted to Boston University’s MFA program in August 2008.

“As I’m pursuing my degree at Boston University’s MFA program, there is no reason for me to continue seeking re-admittance to Yale at this time,” Osberg said in an e-mail Monday. “That is why I dropped the lawsuit.”

Osberg’s suit said she “suffered ascertainable economic losses and emotional distress” as a result of Yale’s actions, which included locking her out of her studio without notice and not following proper procedures to expel her.

In the summer of 2008, Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said the University believes Osberg’s claim had “no merit.”

In the year before the case was dropped, dozens of pretrial motions were filed.

Because Osberg withdrew the case with prejudice, she cannot refile at a later date, Williams said.

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