Katie Meyer’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Stanford, saying the 21-year-old goalie was distressed about facing discipline over an incident from August 2021.
Meyer took her own life in late February. The civil lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. USA Today obtained the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says Meyer spilled coffee on a Stanford football player who allegedly had sexually assaulted a soccer teammate. It also said that Meyer received a formal written notice on the evening of Feb. 28 — the same night she died — that charged her with a “Violation of the Fundamental Standard.”
The violation put her diploma on hold a few months before she was supposed to graduate, USA Today reported.
Her parents argue in the lawsuit that the notice came “after-hours” while Meyer was “alone in her room without any support or resources.” The lawsuit says that Meyer responded to the email “expressing how ‘shocked and distraught’ she was over being charged and threatened with removal from the university” and received a follow-up email that scheduled a meeting three days later.
Her parents said in the lawsuit that Meyer had “an acute stress reaction that impulsively led her” to take her life. The lawsuit also says that Meyer had told Stanford employees in November 2021 that she had “been scared for months that my clumsiness will ruin my chances of leaving Stanford on a good note.”
Stanford’s assistant vice president of external communications, Dee Mostofi, told USA Today on Wednesday that the school “strongly disagreed” with the lawsuit’s claim that Stanford was responsible in Meyer’s death and hadn’t seen the complaint.
Meyer was a part of the 2019 national champion women’s soccer team. She stopped two penalty shots in Stanford’s 5-4 shootout victory over North Carolina after a scoreless draw.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email email@example.com.