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Family of Katie Meyer sues Stanford over soccer star’s death | California

The family of Katie Meyer, a Stanford University football star who committed suicide in March, has sued the university for wrongful death.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday and reviewed by CNN, alleges that the college administrators’ actions caused her to “go into an acute stress reaction that impulsively led to her suicide.”

The allegations surround a disciplinary notice given to Meyer on the night of her death. On March 1, Meyer, who helped Stanford win the 2019 NCAA College Cup championship game, received a six-page formal email from Stanford’s Office of Community Standards, according to the lawsuit, containing a disciplinary notice following an incident in August 2021 in which she allegedly spilled coffee on another Stanford student-athlete, who was accused of sexually assaulting one of her underage teammates.

Later that night, she was found dead in one of Stanford’s residence halls, where she was a housing consultant. According to Meyer’s mother, she had been in good spirits the night before while video chatting with her family about a planned spring break with them.

Meyer’s parents alleged in the lawsuit that the letter Meyer received before she died “contained threatening language about sanctions and possible ‘expulsion from the university'”.

“The formal disciplinary charge regarding spilled coffee also informed Katie that her degree was put on hold just three (3) months before her graduation; threatening her status as a Stanford student, captain and member of the football team, residential counselor, Mayfield Fellow, Defense Innovative Scholar, and her ability to attend Stanford Law School, among many other things,” the lawsuit said.

It said Meyer contacted the university immediately after receiving the email, telling them she was “shocked and distraught” at the notice, but that “Stanford employees were not supportive of Katie when she expressed feelings of desperation”.

An autopsy confirmed the cause of death was suicide.

“Stanford’s after-hours disciplinary charges and reckless nature and manner of submission to Katie caused Katie to have an acute stress reaction that impulsively led to her suicide,” the lawsuit said. “Katie’s suicide was completed without planning and solely in response to the shocking and deeply disturbing information she received from Stanford while alone in her room without any support or resources.”

A Stanford spokesperson, Dee Mostofi, disputed the lawsuit’s claims.

“The Stanford community continues to mourn Katie’s tragic death and we sympathize with her family for the unimaginable pain Katie’s passing has caused them,” ESPN said.

“However, we strongly disagree with any claim that the university is responsible for her death. While we have not yet seen the formal complaint filed by the Meyer family, we are aware of some allegations in the filing, which are false and misleading.”

Mostofi also said the disciplinary letter the university sent to Meyer “included a number to call for immediate support and [she] was specifically told that this resource was available to her 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 800-273-8255 and online chat is also available. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line advisor. In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on the toll free number 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected] In Australia, the crisis response service is Lifeline 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at befrienders.org

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