Family sues Stanford after student found dead after spilling coffee on friend’s alleged rapist

Katie Meyer at the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship.

Katie Meyer at the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship.
photo: Jamie Schwaberow (Getty Images)

The family of the late Katie Meyer, former Stanford University star football captain, is suing the university for wrongful death. after Meyer committed suicide in her dormitory in February. Last week, Santa Clara County ruled that “there was no evidence of foul play and Meyer’s death was determined to be self-inflicted,” prompting Meyer’s family to file a lawsuit Wednesday. sports illustrated reported.

Meyer’s death came almost immediately after she was told she was facing disciplinary action over an incident in which she spilled coffee on a football player who allegedly raped her underage teammate. Corresponding An email Meyer received on the evening of her death may have put her diploma and positions on hold as a student and Athlete at school in danger.

According to her family’s lawsuit, received from sports illustrated“the actions that led to it [Meyer’s] The death began and ended with Stanford University.” The lawsuit calls the disciplinary action against her “reckless” and alleges that it “created in Katie an acute stress response that impulsively led to her suicide.”

United States todaywho also received the lawsuit reported that Meyer’s family says her “suicide was committed without planning and solely in response to the shocking and deeply distressing information she received from Stanford while she was alone in her room without any support or resources.” The lawsuit alleges Further, Meyer responded to the email notifying her of the charges against her by “expressing how ‘shocked and disturbed’ she was,” but “Stanford employees made no effort to check on Katie’s well-being.” The lawsuit names the school board of trustees, the president, the deans and vice deans, the vice provost and the general counsel as defendants.

The university has responded to the family’s lawsuit by denying any responsibility for her death. “The Stanford community continues to mourn Katie’s tragic death and we join her family in the unimaginable pain Katie’s death has caused them. However, we strongly disagree with any claim that the university is responsible for her death,” said Dee Mostofi, a Stanford spokeswoman. said persons in a statement last week.

Mostofi confirmed that the Stanford Office of Community Standards (OCS) “received a complaint regarding alleged conduct by Katie that resulted in bodily harm” and “has initiated an investigation into that allegation.” That review prompted the OCS to set up a hearing about Meyer’s conduct and possible disciplinary action, Mostofi said, but nonetheless, Meyer was “offered a counselor to work with her throughout the process and was told she could have a support person of her choice.” with her in every meeting or conversation with OCS.”

Meyer and her teammates at the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship.

Meyer and her teammates at the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship.
photo: Jamie Schwaberow (Getty Images)

Meyer’s family’s legal team argues that her death is a tragic reflection of broader issues with the school’s “egregious and reckless mishandling of disciplinary procedures,” they said in a statement to S.I. The statement cited an expert opinion from a community committee at the schoolwho called the school’s disciplinary process “overly punitive” and harmful to her students.

“Through this litigation, we will not only seek justice for Katie, but also ensure that the necessary changes are made to help protect Stanford students and provide safeguards when students need assistance,” the statement continued.

It cannot be stressed enough that Meyer died shortly after his sentence for retaliation against a student who allegedly raped a minor on her team. The unfair treatment Meyer faced is the latest in the university’s history, which appeared to protect attackers at the expense of rape victims. Chanel Miller, who was attacked by former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, has said The university did not offer her adequate resources and support after the attack. Around the same time Turner was found guilty of sexual assault, the school confronted a separate lawsuit for allowing a student known to sexually assaulted four other students to graduate.

Stanford’s response to criticism of how it handles sexual assault on campus has been largely sympathetic limit alcohol and discourage Prevent students from walking dark, unlit paths on campus at night. How little has changed over the years is shown by the school’s punishment of Meyer, which her family says led to her death. Family sues Stanford after student found dead after spilling coffee on friend’s alleged rapist

Adam Bradshaw

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