An elderly couple has filed a lawsuit against Chapman University alleging that the president of the college engaged in elder abuse. According to the lawsuit, for years the president of Chapman took advantage of the couple’s age to persuade them to donate nearly $12 million to the college.
The plaintiffs allege that this abuse was carried out over a number of years through a campaign of flattery and false promises to extract millions in donations for the school. They say it began in 2008 when the couple donated $50,000 toward Chapman to help construct a science building. Following that donation, the school began to focus more and more attention on the couple, offering them increased attention, invitations and requests for further donations.
This went on for a number of years, says the couple, to the tune of half a million dollars. When Chapman approached the couple and requested that they donate $5 million to the Center for Science and Technology campaign, they plaintiffs declined, stating that they were in poor health and could not shoulder the financial burden. It was then, they allege, that the university ramped up its efforts to extract the donation, offering to name the building in their honor. The lawsuit alleges that the university was aware of the couple’s declining mental and physical health and preyed on them as a result.
The university strongly denies the allegations of elder abuse, arguing instead that the couple was fully aware of the implications of the donations and that it did not engage in any wrongdoing in requesting them.
Elder abuse is a serious problem, especially when older individuals do not recognize the consequences of their actions. If you believe a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, reach out to the compassionate injury attorneys at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire in San Diego.