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La Verne students win class certification in tuition refund case

A California Federal Judge granted La Verne undergraduate students the right to pursue tuition and fee refunds for their breach of contract claims — and that a trial will be scheduled for August 2022. You can read a copy of the decision here: La Verne Class Certification Decision – 2-9-22. According to the Feb. 8, 2022 order, Judge Mark C. Scarsi, U.S.D.J. ruled that the students were entitled to pursue the claims as part of a class action. In his decision, Judge Scarsi pointed to five common questions that should be resolved in the matter, including:

“(i) [W]hether students were entitled to receive access to Defendant’s campus, facilities, in-person technologies, and other in-person and campus-based educational services when they paid main campus tuition and fees; (ii) whether students would reasonably expect to receive in-person and campus-based educational services as part of the student-university contract; (iii) whether Defendant breached the covenant to provide on-campus and in-person educational services during the spring 2020 semester when it closed campus, limited access to all campus facilities and services, and delivered emergency remote teaching in an online-only format; (iv) whether Defendant has any affirmative defenses; and (v) whether Defendant breached the student-university contract by failing to provide the services and facilities to which the Mandatory Fees pertained after mid-March 2020.”

The underlying case alleges that when students enrolled, registered for classes, and paid tuition and fees, they reasonably expected to receive campus-based and in-person educational services. However, when ULV was unable to provide those services, instead of charging students less for the fewer services, ULV elected to retain the full amount of tuition and the full amount of most fees.

If you are a student at La Verne during the Spring 2020 semester and want to know your rights (including how much you may be potentially owed), please contact mtompkins@leedsbrownlaw.com or twilliams@leedsbrownlaw.com — or call 516.873.9550.