BOZEMAN, Mont. — A former Montana State University student has filed a lawsuit alleging the university failed to protect him from a roommate who stole his money and engaged in unspecified sexual behavior described as disturbing.
Evan Clark’s lawsuit against the state alleges campus officials, including the dean of students, knew his roommate had been removed from other dormitory rooms due to the alleged sexual misconduct, but ignored Clark’s requests to have him moved until Clark went to Bozeman police.
Clark became so depressed that he took an overdose of painkillers in late November 2015 and quit going to class.
The events “severely damaged and ruined” Clark’s college experience and left him with no desire to return, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in a Bozeman court.
MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2d3BM5z) that the university has not been served with the lawsuit and typically does not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for Clark and his parents, Maureen and Todd Clark, all of Washington state.
It accuses MSU of breach of contract and negligence for failing to provide a safe living environment and for placing Clark with a roommate the university knew was unstable.
The roommate was identified only as “Scott” in the lawsuit, which did not give details about what it called his “erratic and disturbingly inappropriate sexual conduct.”
Within days of the start of the Fall 2015 semester, Clark became concerned about Scott’s strange behavior and extreme paranoia, the lawsuit said.
Clark’s bank notified him that his roommate had taken $600 from his account, the lawsuit said.
Clark’s mail and at least $500 in birthday money and gift cards were stolen from the campus mailbox that only Clark and his roommate had access to, the lawsuit stated. MSU promised to reimburse the money but did not, the lawsuit said.
Clark’s parents asked MSU to remove their son’s roommate. MSU responded that the roommate would be offered counseling, the lawsuit said.
Clark reported his issues with the roommate to Bozeman police, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit did not offer details about what action, if any, police took.
MSU then removed the roommate and placed a restraining order against him, the lawsuit states.