Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

Editors’ observe: When you or somebody you realize is having ideas of suicide or is in emotional misery, contact the Suicide and Disaster Lifeline at 988 or at https://988lifeline.org.

The household of Katie Meyer, the Stanford goalkeeper who died by suicide earlier this yr, is suing Stanford College and different college officers, bringing forth claims of wrongful dying, intentional infliction of emotional misery and 6 different allegations.

Meyer, the previous captain of the college’s soccer group, and a 2019 nationwide champion, died in March 2022. She was 22 years outdated. Now, her household has filed a lawsuit claiming Stanford’s dealing with of a disciplinary course of involving Meyer led to her dying, immediately alleging that “the actions that led to [her] dying started and ended with Stanford College,” per the lawsuit obtained by Sports activities Illustrated.

“Katie Meyer’s tragic dying resulted from Stanford’s egregious and reckless mishandling of its disciplinary course of,” lawyer Kim Dougherty stated in an announcement. “Stanford has identified for years that its disciplinary course of, in its personal Committee 10’s phrases, is ‘overly punitive’ and dangerous to its college students, but the varsity and its directors have achieved nothing to right its procedures. By this litigation we is not going to solely get hold of justice for Katie, but in addition guarantee needed change is put into place to assist shield Stanford college students and supply safeguards when college students are in want of help.”

Meyer’s household filed the lawsuit Wednesday, naming the College; the varsity’s board of trustees; faculty president Marc Tessier-Lavigne; deans and affiliate deans Lisa Caldera, Tiffany Gabrielson and Alyce Haley; vice provost Susie Brubaker-Cole and basic counsel Debra Zumwalt. The Meyers are additionally claiming survival motion, breach of implied contract, breach of contract, violation of California Schooling Code Part 66270, negligent infliction of emotional misery and lack of consortium. The lawsuit says “Stanford’s after-hours disciplinary cost, and the reckless nature and method of submission to Katie, prompted Katie to endure an acute stress response that impulsively led to her suicide.”

In response to the go well with, the disciplinary course of in query stems from an August 2021 incident the place Meyer allegedly spilled espresso on a soccer participant who was accused of sexually assaulting a minor on Meyer’s group. Meyer’s father had beforehand advised USA Right this moment that the disciplinary matter got here from Meyer defending a teammate.

The submitting alleges that Stanford “selectively decided to not comply with via with any formal self-discipline for the soccer participant and he was allowed to play the whole season with none actual consequence.”

The participant, who stays unidentified, didn’t file the grievance to Stanford’s workplace of neighborhood requirements (OCS), and stated all through the disciplinary course of that he needed to “make amends” and “didn’t need any punishment that impacts her life,” per the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Meyer met with dean Caldera days after the alleged coffee-spilling incident and stated it was an accident. After the dialog, Caldera filed a grievance with OCS, and Meyer was despatched a letter in September 2021 stating it had been filed. In response to the grievance, the letter contained “heavy authorized jargon and threatening language,” and three days later affiliate dean Hayley acknowledged “that that is an inherently worrying course of” in a correspondence.

Meyer met with affiliate dean Gabrielson in September and spoke concerning the incident. Gabrielson adopted up the dialog with an electronic mail that stated, “you have been freaking out since you are senior and seeking to go to legislation faculty…and the very last thing you want is one thing to derail you,” per the lawsuit.

Meyer despatched a proper assertion in November 2021 relating to the allegations, the place she stated she had been “wired for months” and “terrified that an accident” would destroy her future. Per the lawsuit, Meyer additionally met with sports activities psychologists and mentioned her rising nervousness and depressive signs.

In response to the lawsuit, Meyer had no contact with the OCS workplace from November 21, 2021, to February 25.

Primarily based on the submitting, it’s unclear whether or not Meyer checked out an electronic mail she acquired on Feb. 25 from the workplace that famous she would quickly learn about a “formal charging determination on this matter.” She believed the method was over as a result of she hadn’t heard from the workplace in months and he or she had been chosen for prestigious honors from the college, in keeping with the go well with.

On the night time of Feb. 28, Meyer acquired a five-page, single-spaced letter from the OCS charging her with “Violation of the Elementary Commonplace.” In response to the lawsuit, it “contained language assuming guilt.” A portion of the letter within the go well with stated, “The Judicial Officer shall decide that there’s enough proof to file formal expenses when s/he concludes {that a} fair-minded panelist may discover the allegation(s) to be true past an inexpensive doubt.” The go well with highlighted the phrases “there’s enough proof” and “discover the allegation(s) to be true past an inexpensive doubt.”

The letter additionally famous that Meyer’s diploma could be positioned on maintain and the fees she confronted may lead to her expulsion. She acquired the letter on the final day that Stanford may carry forth expenses, as the varsity should accomplish that inside six months of an incident.

In response to the go well with, Meyer promptly responded that she was “shocked and distraught” over the letter, and Stanford replied moments later with a date to fulfill however didn’t deal with her issues. Laptop forensics confirmed Meyer researching how one can defend herself in addition to trying again on the letter and attachments.

The submitting stated, “Stanford failed to reply to Katie’s expression of misery, as an alternative ignored it and scheduled a gathering for 3 days later by way of electronic mail. Stanford staff made no effort in any respect to examine on Katie’s well-being, both by a easy telephone name or in-person welfare examine.’’

Meyer was discovered useless in her dorm room on March 1. Per the go well with, the OCS letter was open on her laptop display screen on the time of her dying.

Earlier than her dying, Meyer was planning on attending Stanford’s legislation faculty and ready to listen to again concerning the faculty’s determination.

The Meyer household is searching for restitution, damages and different reliefs. Meyer’s household additionally began the “Katie Save” undertaking, with its aim being to “help college students navigating dynamics of campus life that could be difficult with added pressures of lecturers, sports activities, performing arts and different actions,” in keeping with the web site.

Stanford spokesperson Dee Mostofi addressed the lawsuit’s claims in an announcement to ESPN.

“The Stanford neighborhood continues to grieve Katie’s tragic dying and we sympathize together with her household for the unimaginable ache that Katie’s passing has prompted them,” Mostofi wrote. “Nonetheless, we strongly disagree with any assertion that the college is answerable for her dying. Whereas we’ve got not but seen the formal grievance introduced by the Meyer household, we’re conscious of among the allegations made within the submitting, that are false and deceptive.

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