CHARLESTON -- Sixteen more cases were filed against Mountain State University for failing to inform students about its accreditation issues.
Former university president Charles Polk and the Mountain State University Board of Trustees were also named as defendants in the suit.
Eric Withrow, Billie Blankenship, Kari Murphy, Beverly Costello, Crystal Carpenter, Tammy Rush, Falynn Tucker, Barry Detwiler, Monica Miles, Betty Rose, Jeremiah Kingori, Donna Crites, Michael Baker, Tina Brogan, Betty Auville and Joanne Rider were students at MSU and were enrolled in the university's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, according to 16 complaints filed July 31 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 the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, but later the NLNAC and the WVBRN pulled the university's full accreditation status.
In 2008, the NLNAC voted to place the nursing program on warning and scheduled the next evaluation visit for spring 2010, according to the suits, but after the spring 2010 visit, the commission voted to deny continuing accreditation to the program.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants failed to inform them of the accreditation denial and encouraged them to continue paying for and participating in the program.
The defendants were negligent in keeping the students informed and breached their contract with them by failing to provide the education opportunity promised, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by William Druckman, Madonna Estep, John P. Fishwick Jr. and Monica L. Mroz.
The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges Tod J. Kaufman, Jennifer Bailey, James C. Stucky, Carrie Webster, Charles E. King, Louis H. Bloom and Paul Zakaib Jr.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1517, 12-C-1518, 12-C-1519, 12-C-1520, 12-C-1521, 12-C-1522, 12-C-1523, 12-C-1524, 12-C-1525, 12-C-1526, 12-C-1527, 12-C-1528, 12-C-1529, 12-C-1530, 12-C-1531, 12-C-1532