Katie Meyer’s family files wrongful death lawsuit against Stanford
The parents of Katie Meyer, a star soccer goalkeeper who died by suicide last spring, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Stanford on Wednesday.
At the time of her death, 21-year-old Meyer was facing disciplinary action for allegedly spilling coffee on a Stanford soccer player who was accused of sexually assaulting a female soccer player. Meyer’s father said his daughter was defending the then-underage teammate.
The lawsuit states that on the night of her death, Stanford “negligently and recklessly” sent her the formal disciplinary notice, which contained “threatening language regarding sanctions and possible ‘expulsion from the university’.”
On the night of February 28, Meyer was on the phone with her parents and two sisters from her Stanford dorm room and, according to her mother, was in good spirits. They coordinated their spring break plans, which included a stopover in Southern California a few days ago in Mexico with friends.
However, her parents say Meyer received the six-page email from Stanford later that evening notifying her of a disciplinary hearing.
The next day, Meyer was found dead in her dormitory where she lived as a resident counselor. An autopsy performed on March 3 confirmed the manner of death as suicide.
“Stanford’s after-hours disciplinary arraignment and the reckless manner in which Katie was submissive caused Katie to have an acute stress response that impulsively led to her suicide,” the lawsuit reads. “Katie’s suicide was unplanned 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.”
In a statement to multiple media outlets, Stanford spokesman Dee Mostofi refuted the lawsuit’s claims.
“The Stanford community continues to mourn Katie’s tragic death and we join her family in the unimaginable pain that Katie’s death has caused them,” Mostofi wrote.
“However, we strongly disagree with any claim that the university is responsible for her death. While we have not yet seen the Meyer family’s formal complaint, we are aware of some of the claims made in the file that are false and misleading,” added Mostofi.
A senior studying international relations and history, Meyer made two key saves in a penalty shootout to help Stanford win the 2019 national championship. She was part of the prestigious 2022 Mayfield Fellows Program, designed to develop students into leading technology companies — and awaiting acceptance into Stanford Law School.