Lawsuits filed in reaction to alleged college admissions scandal

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Two lawsuits were filed Tuesday in reaction to the alleged admissions cheating scandal.

One is a class action lawsuit. It describes one plaintiff who is a student at Tulane University, as having had an emotional breakdown and needing to be hospitalized after not getting into her chosen schools. She's one of several plaintiffs named in the class which includes a Stanford University student as well.

RELATED: Bay Area mother files $500 billion lawsuit in alleged college admission bribery scam

The plaintiffs in the class applied to the universities that are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The lawsuit says the plaintiffs paid an admission application fee to one or more of the universities named and got rejected.

One of the plaintiffs, Kalea Woods, is a Stanford student who applied to USC.

The lawsuit says quote, "Had she known that the system at USC was warped and rigged by fraud, she would not have spent the money to apply to the school."

The attorney who filed the complaint, David Cialkowski, says students didn't receive what they paid for.

In an emailed statement writing, " The students who filed the complaint didn't receive what they paid for-to participate in an application process free of fraud. According to the complaint, these schools represented that their admission process would be based on the applicants' merits, considering their character and performance. Instead, the students allege that what they got was a process tainted by bribes and school officials who failed to assure an honest application process. It's a straightforward claim and a simple remedy. The students want their money back. They request that anyone who paid an application fee to any of the eight named universities but was denied admission gets their application fee returned."

UC Hastings law professor David Levine says the students may get their money back.

RELATED: UC Berkeley named in college admissions scandal

"That's actually a pretty good case, under CA law it's quite generous to consumers in that kind of situation," said Levine.

In an emailed statement to ABC7 News, Stanford University writes, "We believe the lawsuit filed by the students against Stanford is without merit. We take the issues raised through the events of this week very seriously. While we continue to closely examine our policies and processes to see if improvements should be made, we stand behind the integrity of our admissions process."

The University of San Diego writes in an emailed statement, "On March 13, 2019, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit is brought by two current Stanford students and names several universities as defendants, including the University of San Diego. The lawsuit relates to the charges announced by the United States Department of Justice earlier this week against various individuals who are alleged to have participated in a scheme to use bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate cheating on college entrance examinations and to secure admissions to universities. While we do not comment on pending litigation, our commitment to ethical conduct and integrity in our admissions policies and processes is unwavering. The university is conducting an investigation into the allegations. If the investigation reveals wrongdoing by individuals associated with the university, we will take appropriate action to address those concerns and to prevent them from recurring."

The University of Texas at Austin tells ABC7 News in an emailed statement, "Like many students and families across the country, we are also outraged that parents, outside actors and university employees may have committed fraud surrounding admissions at universities. The University of Texas has a thorough, holistic admissions process. The actions alleged by federal prosecutors against one UT employee were not in line with that policy and may have been criminal. They do not reflect our admissions process."

Meantime, Bay Area mom Jennifer Toy filed a $500-billion lawsuit against alleged cheating scandal defendants in the case.

In the lawsuit she writes, "...I feel that my son... was denied access to a college not because he failed to work and study hard enough but because wealthy individuals felt that it was ok to lie, cheat, steal and bribe their children's way into a good college."

LIST: These Bay Area residents have been charged in alleged college admissions scam

Levine says that lawsuit might not stand up.

"It's just too much of a longshot there's too many problems with that kind of a lawsuit," said Levine.

ABC7 News reached out to all of the Universities named in the class action lawsuit but did not hear back from all of them yet.

Check out the latest stories and videos about Operation Varsity Blues.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.