If you had the choice to start a class-action lawsuit...would you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-11-2008, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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The university I transferred from was bad, really, really bad. So bad that when I needed legal assistance just to stop them from harrassing me, the lawyer mentioned a class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit would be for sexual assault, safety, housing conditions, discrimination in grading, disability discrimination and bait & switch/billing issues.

No flames, please, but as a fulltime student, WAHM, first time mom, I don't want to do this. A lot of city employees and media organizations are heavily "endowed" by this university. The school has been in the public debate for awhile now and I'd be surprised if things didn't get ugly.

But then I think of the students who have been seriously hurt and I feel guilty. We're talking about cover-up of gang rapes here.

I don't know what to do. I mean, I know what to do, but I don't want to do it.

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#2 of 8 Old 12-11-2008, 07:25 PM
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One reason FOR the class action lawsuit is that it may improve conditions for future students. In the situation you describe, it sounds like there might be monetary damages... which could help pay tuition at a new school.

If you do go ahead with a class action or regular lawsuit, it will be a very long process. So the actual interruption in your life right now will not be that huge - any court trial would be more than a year away. And the school will offer to settle.

5 or 10 years from now, you may still feel the effects of a sexual assault. But at that time the statute of limitations would have run out.

If you feel that the president of the school and "upper management" have made mistakes leading to assault and discrimination, I think you should go for the lawsuit. It could cause that person to resign, which presumably would be a good thing.

On the other hand, I do understand that with a new baby it is not a good time personally for you to go through it. I am really sorry for what you went through - it is just not fair to you.
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#3 of 8 Old 12-11-2008, 08:15 PM
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I think I would.
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#4 of 8 Old 12-12-2008, 11:20 PM
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I'd do it, for the reasons that Sleepless mentioned.
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#5 of 8 Old 12-12-2008, 11:33 PM
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If we're talking about the cover-up of gang rapes - YES. I absolutely would start the class-action suit.

I live in Boston. A few years back, survivors of sexual abuse began suing the archdiocese for covering up widespread incidents of sexual abuse by priests. The Catholic church does a lot around here, and they have had to cut back a fair bit, but in my opinion, those survivors deserve the legal remedies they can get. If the Church had behaved responsibly in the first place, they wouldn't have been subject to the losses from these lawsuits, but they didn't behave reasonably, and nothing but some serious legal action was going to make them shape up, so I think the people who filed suit were doing the community a service.
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#6 of 8 Old 12-15-2008, 05:53 AM
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You don't have the option of not doing this, IMO. Zonnie needs to know that her mummy did the right thing, even when it was really, really difficult and scary. You need to do your bit towards making this world a safer place for our children to grow.

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#7 of 8 Old 12-15-2008, 09:21 AM
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I do not know the details or the circumstance in which you are involved with. But I will say if my former co-worker would have stood up and reported sexual harrasment when it happened to her, it could have saved me a whole lot of trouble from that perpetrator. Its not always the here and now, but you could be saving someone else alot of trouble in the future.

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#8 of 8 Old 12-16-2008, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know what the right thing would be. I know, I know.

Oh, and to clarify, I wasn't one of the girls who was directly sexually assaulted. I just got the MILF DVD left on my front porch. DH and I lived in a married dorm and we were out that night. It was a girl at the end of the street who unfortunately answered her door that night.

And who knows how many umpteen cases there are of rape.

And my friend moved off-campus after a homeless guy fell into her bathtub. (He had been living in the attic).

How did I miss these things when signing up for this school?!

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