A civil class-action lawsuit has been filed by seven college students against eight universities in connection with a massive college admissions corruption scandal, which has rocked the nation over the last week. According to a CNBC news report, the defendants in the lawsuit include top colleges including Yale, USC, Stanford, UCLA, University of San Diego, University of Texas, Georgetown and Wake Forest University.
Federal criminal charges related to the scandal were filed against television stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin as well as top business and legal executives such as Manuel Henriquez formerly of Hercules Capital and former Pacific Investment Management Co. CEO Douglas Hodge. The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the students accuses each of the universities of being negligent in failing to maintain adequate protocols and security measures in place to guarantee the sanctity of the admissions process into colleges.
An Unfair and Corrupt Process
The class-action lawsuit also claims more than $5 million in damages and says that the scheme cause unqualified students to get into elite universities while students who played by the rules and worked hard were denied admission. The students are seeking repayment of the application fees paid to these universities. Even though there are currently only seven named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the action could ultimately include potentially thousands of students as plaintiffs, if not more.
One of the students said when she applied to USC she was never informed hat the admissions process at the university was an “unfair, rigged process in which parents could buy their way” through corrupt schemes. Had she known that, she would not have spent money to apply to USC, she said. Some like Huffman have been accused of paying someone to proctor her daughter’s SAT and correct wrong answers. The college bribery scandal has been widely covered in the media and has led many to question the equity of the college admissions process in this country.
Justice for Victims
As California class-action lawyers who represent consumer rights, we hope these plaintiffs get their day in court and that the wrongdoers, whoever they may be, are held accountable. One of the most important roles of class action lawsuits is to bring these types of truths to light and expose such egregious acts of corruption and wrongdoing. We hope this lawsuit and other actions against those involved help prevent these types of schemes in the future.