The judge mocks the University of Delaware’s argument that a class-action suit won’t work because students got different grades.
Posted BY: | NwoReport
The University of Delaware will not dismiss a class-action lawsuit by students seeking damages and restitution for the school abruptly moving their classes online early in the pandemic, setting a worrisome precedent for other colleges that took similar measures.
3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephanos Bibas, sitting by designation as a trial judge, knocked down every argument by the university, including the plaintiffs don’t have standing and a class is not “ascertainable.” They are claiming breach of implied contract and unjust enrichment.
The students argue that “what they got was worth less than what they paid for” in tuition when in-person classes were banned, Bibas wrote in a Friday ruling. They seek to certify a class of all undergraduates who paid tuition in the spring 2020 semester: at least 9,000 out of 17,000 total students. (Bibas says the university took in $160 million that semester.)
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The university clearly caused “injury in fact” by “moving classes online. And I could redress that injury by awarding damages or ordering restitution,” Bibas wrote. The class can be certified because “enrollment and payment are verifiable facts,” and the university can track who paid “some amount of tuition” that semester.