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Press Release: New York Judge Dismisses Test-Taker Lawsuit Against Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact: Dalene Paull director@theconferenceonline.org

November 9, 2017

New York Judge Dismisses Test-Taker Lawsuit Against Conference

A New York state court judge has dismissed another lawsuit filed against the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (“The Conference”) by a graduate of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, Inc. (“AAMI”) challenging The Conference’s invalidation of her scores on the National Board Examination (“NBE”).  The case is Lovece v. The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, et al., Index No. 9288/2015, State of New York Supreme Court, Columbia County.

In 2015, the plaintiff filed suit against The Conference, ten members of its previous and current Board of Directors, and its Executive Director, after the Conference invalidated the plaintiff’s NBE scores following discovery of her involvement in the examination security breach at AAMI.  The plaintiff alleged that the invalidation of her NBE scores violated her constitutional rights and breached her test-taker agreement, among other claims.  The plaintiff subsequently voluntarily dismissed her claims against nine of The Conference directors and its Executive Director.  On October 25, 2017, Judge Richard M. Koweek of the New York Supreme Court (Columbia County) granted the Conference’s motion to dismiss all of the plaintiff test taker’s claims.

Judge Koweek’s order dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.  Among other things, the judge ruled that the Conference is not a government actor subject to constitutional claims by disgruntled test takers, and rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the Conference’s decision to temporarily bar her from re-taking the NBE was illegal.  The court also held that the plaintiff had failed to sufficiently allege how the Conference’s actions hindered any business relationship, or that The Conference acted with malice with the intent to inflict harm upon her.

As a result of this ruling, only one of the seventeen lawsuits filed by AAMI graduates whose NBE scores were invalidated is pending against The Conference.  The remainder of the lawsuits have been dismissed or settled.  The Conference continues to pursue efforts to amicably resolve the remaining lawsuit.

As always, individuals with information regarding any previous or potential NBE security breach are encouraged to contact The Conference at exams@theconferenceonline.org or https://theconferenceonline.org/report-concern.  By working together, members of the funeral service profession and The Conference can ensure the security and integrity of the NBE, as well as the continued value the NBE offers as a component of the licensure process and public protection.

The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation providing examination services, information, and regulatory support to funeral service licensing boards and educators, governmental bodies and other regulatory agencies.  The Conference develops, administers, scores and maintains the National Board Examination NBE) program and other state examinations designed to assess entry-level competence of applicants seeking licensure in the funeral services profession.   www.theconferenceonline.org

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