Katie Meyer’s Family Sues Stanford University Says School’s ‘Reckless’ Decision Led to Her Death
The family of late Stanford University soccer captain Katie Meyer is suing the college for wrongful death eight months after she took her own life in an on-campus residence.
Meyer died by suicide on Feb. 28. The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner later determined that “there is no indication of foul play, and Meyer’s death was determined to be self-inflicted.”
Now, her parents are taking legal action against the university.
In legal documents filed on Wednesday and obtained by Sports Illustrated, the star athlete’s family claimed through their legal team, “the actions that led to [her] death began and ended with Stanford University.”
The lawsuit said that at the time of her death, Meyer had been facing disciplinary action from the school for allegedly spilling coffee on a football player who had been accused of raping a minor teammate of Meyer’s, the outlet reported.
“Stanford’s after-hours disciplinary charge, and the reckless nature and manner of submission to Katie, caused Katie to suffer an acute stress reaction that impulsively led to her suicide,” the lawsuit alleged, per the publication.
USA Today reported that the lawsuit also stated, “Katie’s suicide was completed without planning and solely in response to the shocking and deeply distressing information she received from Stanford while alone in her room without any support or resources.”
It noted that Katie Meyer was informed about the Violation of the Fundamental Standard charge against her on the evening of her death, according to USA Today. The disciplinary action meant that she would not receive her diploma for three months and put her position on the team, and as a student, at risk.
“Katie, sitting alone in her dorm room, when it was dark outside, immediately responded to the email expressing how ‘shocked and distraught’ she was over being charged and threatened with removal from the university,” the complaint said, per USA Today.
“Stanford failed to respond to Katie’s expression of distress, instead ignored it and scheduled a meeting for 3 days later via email. Stanford employees made no effort whatsoever to check on Katie’s well-being, either by a simple phone call or in-person welfare check.”
However, Stanford has denied any wrongdoing or liability in Meyer’s death.