Katie Meyer's Family Sues Stanford University Says School's 'Reckless' Decision Led to Her Death

SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 08: Katie Meyer #19 of the Stanford Cardinal defends the goal against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Division I Women's Soccer Championship held at Avaya Stadium on December 8, 2019 in San Jose, California. Stanford defeated North Carolina in a shootout. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 08: Katie Meyer #19 of the Stanford Cardinal defends the goal against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Division I Women's Soccer Championship held at Avaya Stadium on December 8, 2019 in San Jose, California. Stanford defeated North Carolina in a shootout. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty

The family of late Stanford University soccer captain Katie Meyer is suing the college for wrongful death eight months after she took her own life in an on-campus residence.

Meyer died by suicide on Feb. 28. The County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner later determined that "there is no indication of foul play, and Meyer's death was determined to be self-inflicted."

Now, her parents are taking legal action against the university.

In legal documents filed on Wednesday and obtained by Sports Illustrated, the star athlete's family claimed through their legal team, "the actions that led to [her] death began and ended with Stanford University."

RELATED: Stanford Soccer Player Katie Meyer's Cause of Death Confirmed After She Was Found Dead on Campus

SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 08: Goalie Katie Meyer #19 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates with her teammates after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Division I Women's Soccer Championship held at Avaya Stadium on December 8, 2019 in San Jose, California. Stanford defeated North Carolina in a shootout. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 08: Goalie Katie Meyer #19 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates with her teammates after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Division I Women's Soccer Championship held at Avaya Stadium on December 8, 2019 in San Jose, California. Stanford defeated North Carolina in a shootout. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty

The lawsuit said that at the time of her death, Meyer had been facing disciplinary action from the school for allegedly spilling coffee on a football player who had been accused of raping a minor teammate of Meyer's, the outlet reported.

"Stanford's after-hours disciplinary charge, and the reckless nature and manner of submission to Katie, caused Katie to suffer an acute stress reaction that impulsively led to her suicide," the lawsuit alleged, per the publication.

USA Today reported that the lawsuit also stated, "Katie's suicide was completed without planning and solely in response to the shocking and deeply distressing information she received from Stanford while alone in her room without any support or resources.''

It noted that Meyer was informed about the Violation of the Fundamental Standard charge against her on the evening of her death, according to USA Today. The disciplinary action meant that she would not receive her diploma for three months and put her position on the team, and as a student, at risk.

RELATED: Parents of Soccer Star Katie Meyer Start 'Movement for Change' 3 Months After Her Death by Suicide

"Katie, sitting alone in her dorm room, when it was dark outside, immediately responded to the email expressing how 'shocked and distraught' she was over being charged and threatened with removal from the university,'' the complaint said, per USA Today. "Stanford failed to respond to Katie's expression of distress, instead ignored it and scheduled a meeting for 3 days later via email. Stanford employees made no effort whatsoever to check on Katie's well-being, either by a simple phone call or in-person welfare check.''

However, Stanford has denied any wrongdoing or liability in Meyer's death.

The university's assistant vice president of external communications, Dee Mostofi, tells PEOPLE in a statement via email: "The Stanford community continues to grieve Katie's tragic death and we sympathize with her family for the unimaginable pain that Katie's passing has caused them. However, we strongly disagree with any assertion that the university is responsible for her death." 

Mostofi notes that the university has "not seen the formal complaint."

He adds: "Stanford's Office of Community Standards (OCS) received a complaint regarding alleged behavior by Katie that resulted in physical injury, and as is the practice of the office, it launched a review of that allegation. After extensive fact-finding and the opportunity for both sides to provide information, it was found that a high threshold was met for the matter to proceed to a hearing."

Continues Mostofi: "However, it is important to emphasize that we are committed to supporting students through the student judicial process under OCS, and we did so in this case. In particular, the university offered Katie an advisor to work with her throughout the process and told her she could have a support person of her choosing with her in any meeting or conversation with OCS."

RELATED VIDEO: Parents of Stanford Soccer Star Katie Meyer Open Up About Her Death: 'Worst Nightmare'

Family attorney Kim Dougherty also said in a statement, per Sports Illustrated, "Katie Meyer's tragic death resulted from Stanford's egregious and reckless mishandling of its disciplinary process."

She continued, "Stanford has known for years that its disciplinary process, in its own Committee 10's words, is 'overly punitive' and harmful to its students, yet the school and its administrators have done nothing to correct its procedures."

Dougherty then said that the lawsuit "will not only obtain justice for Katie, but also ensure necessary change is put into place to help protect Stanford students and provide safeguards when students are in need of support."

PEOPLE reached out to Dougherty but did not immediately hear back.

Meyer's relatives are suing for survival action, breach of implied contract, breach of contract, violation of California Education Code Section 66270, negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium, according to Sports Illustrated.

Stanford's board of trustees; school president Marc Tessier-Lavigne; deans and associate deans Lisa Caldera, Tiffany Gabrielson and Alyce Haley; vice provost Susie Brubaker-Cole and general counsel Debra Zumwalt are also defendants in the claim, Sports Illustrated reported.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.