Two class action lawsuits against ExamSoft Worldwide Inc. were filed on August 4, less than one week after a glitch prevented bar exam takers the ability to upload their answers, according to The National Law Journal.
The first claim was filed in U.S. District court for the Northern District of Illinois by Phillip Litchfield. Litchfield is a graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is asking for more than $5 million on behalf of those who took the bar exam.
The second claim was filed in the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of Washington by Catherine Booher and Christopher Davis. Booher is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law and Davis is a graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law. This claim is also asking for $5 million in damages for the class.
“On the long list of things about which exam takers should be worried, wondering whether they will be able to turn in their exams for grading should be at the very bottom,” the complaint filed in Washington said. “It is hard to imagine anything more basic in an exam than being able to turn it in for grading.”
The software from ExamSoft is downloaded by students for a price ranging from $100 to $150. It allows them to upload the written portion of their bar exams so they can be graded.
On the first day of the exam, July 29, test takers could not upload their answers due to a glitch in the software. Some jurisdictions extended their submission deadlines, but test takers were not happy with what occurred.
“The total collapse of the ExamSoft upload system (including its upload servers, website, and phone system) stemmed from wholly insufficient infrastructure that was unable to process the thousands of bar exam results in real time,” the complaint filed in Illinois states. “This failure occurred despite the fact that ExamSoft knew well in advance of exam day exactly how many applicants had registered and paid to use the SofTest program.”
The complaint filed in Illinois is asking for compensation for the emotional distress suffered by the bar exam takers as they waited to find out if their answers were uploaded to the system correctly.
“Not surprisingly, the thousands of exam takers who were unable to upload their exams were extraordinarily distressed,” the Washington complaint says. “Far from providing the stress-reducing functionality it advertised, ExamSoft added an extraordinary burden to an endeavor already fraught with stress and worry.”
In a blog post, Northwestern University School of Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez wrote that the students should be refunded their money, saying the following:
“Such a gesture, whether or not legally compelled, would be the right thing to do, in my opinion,” Rodriquez wrote. “While I by no means speak for anyone other than myself, I would respectfully suggest that you consider, if you have not already, some tangible steps that meet this clear moral obligation to make amends. I call upon you to reflect further upon this unfortunate episode and do the right thing.”