Dartmouth College has raised an important issue in its defense of a Title IX lawsuit brought by several women who claim to have been sexually assaulted and even raped by professors: The College claims that it cannot defend itself without knowing the plaintiffs' names.
Dartmouth Facing Title IX Lawsuit Seeking $70 Million
Dartmouth College, the elite Ivy League school in New Hampshire, has been sued by a group of women who claim to have been assaulted and even raped by professors in what they claim was an “Animal House” culture in the school's psychology department.
The women in the lawsuit are all students or graduate students. They claim that Dartmouth knew of the “predatory” culture since at least 2002. They also claim that Dartmouth did nothing when a group of them contacted the school's Title IX office to report the professors, each of whom is a leading figure in their field.
The Title IX investigation eventually included 27 complainants and led to the resignation and retirement of the three professors mentioned in the complaints.
Seven of the women sued Dartmouth for its alleged role in allowing the misconduct. Their lawsuit seeks $70 million in damages. Two more women joined the lawsuit in May 2019. The claim has since become a class action against the college.
Dartmouth Wants to Know Who Is Suing Them
Like many Title IX claims, though, the women had the option of disclosing their real names or not. One of the initial plaintiffs in the lawsuit of them chose not to, instead referring to herself as “Jane Doe.” Both of the new plaintiffs have elected to conceal their real names.
Title IX procedures allow this to happen in order to protect the identities of the complainants.
However, not knowing who is suing the school poses a serious problem for Dartmouth College. Without knowing who they are, Dartmouth is left largely powerless to raise some important legal defenses to challenge the case against it. Because the lawsuit has become a class action, the potential for the two new plaintiffs to have seriously different circumstances to their case is a very real possibility that would warrant their own, individual, lawsuit.
That is why Dartmouth has filed a motion in the case to compel the unnamed plaintiffs to stop using pseudonyms and instead use their real names. Only by knowing who is in the lawsuit can Dartmouth effectively defend itself.
Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a national Title IX advisor and defense lawyer who passionately represents students and faculty members who have been accused of sexual misconduct. With so much care and attention paid to the rights and interests of the alleged victims, those who have been accused frequently find the deck stacked against them, and that they are afforded few ways to defend themselves against the allegations.
Joseph D. Lento aims to alleviate these problems with vigorous representation for the accused in Title IX cases. Call his law office at (888) 535-3686 or contact him online for help and guidance.