Seven more Mountain State nursing students file accreditation suits

CHARLESTON -- Seven more students have filed lawsuits against Mountain State University after the university failed to keep them informed when the nursing program lost its accreditation status. Charles H. Polk and the Mountain State University Board of Trustees were also named as defendants in the suit. Melissa Keating, Mary Sangregory, Sharon Dunn, Nancy Booth, Kimberly Marshall, Andrea Smith and Devi Matthews were all admitted into MSU's nursing program for a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree, according to seven complaints filed June 12 in Kanawha Circuit Court. The plaintiffs claim when they were admitted to the program, they were informed that the program was accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, but later discovered the nursing program did not have full accreditation status. In 2008, the NLNAC voted to place nursing program at MSU on warning and scheduled the next evaluation visit for spring 2010, according to the suits. The plaintiffs claim after the spring 2010 visit by the NLNAC, the commission voted to deny continuing accreditation to the BSN program. MSU, Polk and the Board of Trustees failed to inform the plaintiffs of the accreditation denial and encouraged them to continue paying for and participating in the nursing program, according to the suits. The plaintiffs claim on Nov. 12, 2010, the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses voted unanimously to require that MSU's BSN program cease and desist all admissions to all nursing programs/pathways or any other program representing progression toward a nursing degree for a minimum of 15 months. The defendants were negligent in failing to keep the nursing students informed and breached their contract with the plaintiffs by failing to provide the education opportunity promised, according to the suits. The seven plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Timothy L. Eves and Omar D. Ahmad. The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Louis H. Bloom, Paul Zakaib Jr., James C. Stucky and Charles E. King. Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 12-C-1095, 12-C-1096, 12-C-1097, 12-C-1098, 12-C-1099, 12-C-1100, 12-C-1101

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