Two federal lawsuits claim the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield doesnít protect its students.
The lawsuits were filed separately in U.S. District Court by John Killian, 23, a former student, and the family of Levi Butler, a student who was killed in a stabbing on campus in 2004.
Butler was stabbed several times in the chest with a paring knife on March 1, 2004 in the campus dining hall. The attack came several hours after Killian was stabbed in the face with a ball point pen.
The lawsuits, filed last Friday, claim the required twice-daily regimen of meditation was dangerous for a mentally ill student.
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ĎĎIn particular, transcendental meditation can magnify psychological problems, including the likelihood and severity of aggressive and violent behavior,íí the lawsuits said.
The lawsuits say university employees ignored the first attack, resuming classes and blaming the attack on Semís improper meditation.
Sem was placed in the custody of Joel Wynsong, the universityís dean of men, and taken to Wynsongís apartment on campus, where he stole a paring knife, court documents said.
He then fled the apartment and went to the dining hall where he stabbed Butler, records show.
The lawsuits allege the university was negligent for failing to recognize the threat Sem posed to students, reporting the initial attack to authorities and keeping Sem away from other students after he attacked Killian.
ĎĎWe are very much looking forward to have the opportunity to bring to light the events that lead to Levi Butlerís death,íí said Stephen Eckley, the Butler familyís attorney.
Bill Goldstein, a lawyer for the school, said he was unaware of the lawsuits and would have to review them before commenting.