Examinees who were falsely told they failed the Georgia bar exam lost their suit for damages against the company that computed their scores.

The contract was between the Georgia Office of Bar Admissions and ILG Technologies LLC to provide a program to digitize and electronically facilitate the the entire bar admission process, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia said.

The examinees claimed ILG Technologies breached its contract with the OBA and they were intended beneficiaries of the contract. They also made negligence, strict liability, negligent design, negligent misrepresentation, and defamation claims.

The examinees’ breach of contract claim failed because they weren’t in privity of contract, the opinion by Judge R. Stan Baker said. The record also clearly showed the examinees weren’t third-party beneficiaries of the contract, it said.

For negligence claims seeking economic damages based on a contract to be viable under Georgia law, the plaintiffs must also be in privity of contract, the court said. Because the examinees weren’t and because they didn’t prove any exceptions to the rule, their negligence claims failed.

The examinees’ negligent misrepresentation claim also failed because ILG Technologies didn’t make any representations to them, and their defamation claim failed because they didn’t show ILG Technologies published their test scores, the court said.

The examinees sat for the exam in July 2015 and February 2016. After discovering they actually passed those exams, they sued ILG Technologies, seeking the cost of taking additional exams and prep classes and loss of income. They also sought damages for injury to their property rights in their careers and to their reputations.

Savage & Turner PC represented the examinees. Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP represented ILG Technologies.

The case is Murray v. ILG Techs., LLC, 2019 BL 110408, S.D. Ga., No. 4:18-CV-110, 3/28/19.