Possibly it was inevitable that someone was going to sue ExamSoft following its software glitch that prevented a huge number of bar exam candidates from uploading the written portions of their tests for grading at the first go. Tense candidates kept trying to upload their documents without the knowledge that the uploading software had failed.
Obviously, the glitch caused mental anguish to many who were trying to turn in their papers at the last moment and finding they were unable to do so. The incident caused widespread criticism. Now, bar exam takers have started to sue ExamSoft.
A May graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law, Phillip Litchfield, sued ExamSoft this week in a federal court in Illinois. Phillip has sought class action certification on behalf of bar-exam takers who were similarly affected and has asked for more than $5 million in compensation.
Also this week, Catherine Booher of Wake Forest University School of Law and Christopher Davis of Gonzaga University School of Law became the name plaintiffs in another class action suit filed against ExamSoft in a federal court in Washington.
Litchfield’s petition, which also includes request for a jury trial, alleges, “For fees upwards of $100, ExamSoft claims that its SoftTest program helps “[t]ake some of the stress and fatigue out of exam day.” However, as thousands of individuals learned on the first day of the bar exam on July 19, 2014 (“Exam Day”), this statement could not have been farther from the truth.”
Litchfield alleges, “when applicants completed their written portion of the exam and tried to upload their responses to the exam (as instructed through ExamSoft’s system), they were met with error messages, contradicting confirmation/failure emails, and a complete inability to verify whether their exams were submitted before state mandated deadlines.”
Lichfield further states in the petition that the failure of ExamSoft’s system “occurred despite the fact that ExamSoft knew well in advance of Exam Day exactly how many applicants had registered and paid to use the SoftTest program.” The expected system load was well-known to the company, but it failed to put proper infrastructure in place to handle the load. The failure, according to allegations was not an accident, but a matter of choice of the company where it chose to ignore the adequate strengthening of its system, and rather chose to let its paying customers suffer the consequences.
ExamSoft’s response is yet unknown to us.