Lawsuits resulting from Title IX cases on college and university campuses are not uncommon. They typically result from students who believe their institutions didn't handle a Title IX case properly. Class-action lawsuits related to Title IX cases are less common, although they are popping up more and more in recent years.
When a Title IX case becomes a class-action lawsuit, what implications does it have for the university and the parties involved in the campus Title IX cases?
The Class Action Suit at Brown
The most recent class-action lawsuit related to Title IX comes from Brown University. Four plaintiffs who were dissatisfied with Brown's handling of their Title IX cases announced a class-action lawsuit against the university on August 6. The suit alleges that Brown violated Title IX in its response to sexual assault on campus.
The four plaintiffs—Chloe Burns, Taja Hirata-Epstein, Carter Woodruff, and Katiana Soenen—describe their experiences with sexual assault at Brown and how difficult it was to seek justice. Their issues include assailants not being punished, being pressured to seek informal rather than formal resolutions, and being formally sanctioned by the university for retaliation when coming out publicly about an assailant.
The four women bringing the class action suit against Brown have all been involved with activism on campus in efforts to get a response from the university. However, they felt like none of their protests were working and eventually decided that a lawsuit was the only way to force the university to do something.
Brown University isn't the only institution of higher education to get slammed with a class-action lawsuit over Title IX in recent months. At Louisiana State University, a sexual assault scandal has been unfolding throughout most of 2021, and in April, a class-action suit was filed against LSU, its Board of Supervisors, Tiger Athletic Foundation, former LSU President F. King Alexander, and others.
What Happens to the Parties Involved in Class Action Suits Against Universities?
If you have been involved in a Title IX case at your college or university, either as a respondent or plaintiff, what happens when a group of people brings a class action suit against your university concerning a case related to you? Are there repercussions for you if a plaintiff names you in the lawsuit? Depending on how the university responds to the lawsuit and how litigation works out, you may face some consequences from the university if you're still a student.
When universities mishandle Title IX cases, it doesn't only hurt plaintiffs. It affects everyone involved and potentially denies justice for respondents as well. If your school is like Brown or LSU, and you find that the misconduct policies are unclear, you may not know how to protect yourself. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have unparalleled experience defending students and teachers who deserve a second chance. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for more information.