The lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court on Wednesday, just one day after the Justice Department arrested nearly 50 people in the bribery case.
USA Today reports that the plaintiff, Jennifer Kay Toy, is a former Oakland teacher and single mother. She claims that her son Joshua graduated high school with a 4.2 grade point average, but that despite his qualifications he applied and was not admitted to some of the colleges connected to the scandal.
“I’m outraged and hurt because I feel that my son, my only child, 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’ way into a good college,” Toy writes in the complaint.
The lawsuit claims that the defendants engaged in a civil conspiracy to commit fraud and negligently inflicted emotional distress on the plaintiffs, who “simply wanted a fair chance for themselves or their children to go to a good college and that opportunity for a fair chance was stolen by the actions of Defendants.”
The lawsuit is nothing if not ambitious. There’s the $500 billion figure, the 45 named defendants (and a promise add over a thousand more), and the more than 1,000,000 people it estimates are part of the class.
The suit’s prospects are unclear, but it seems unlikely that half a trillion dollars changes hands. What we do know is that this civil action is the first of many that will be filed in courts around the country.