Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Florida Atlantic University
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — BocaNewsNow.com was first to report that a class action lawsuit, seeking a refund of “student fees” assessed during COVID-19 distance learning, was filed against Florida Atlantic University and its Board of Trustees. We have now obtained the 33 page filing. It is published below.
Attorneys are preparing to sue other schools, as well.
“By next week, we expect to have 10 more class actions filed against many of the schools that comprise the Florida Board of Governors and Florida State Board of Education,” said attorney Adam Moskowitz of the Moskowitz Law Firm in Coral Gables. ”We originally tried to quickly resolve these cases directly with these Boards, by having them simply arrange for their schools to reimburse the students with credits, but these Boards specifically refused and demanded that we sue each of their schools individually, so we have.”
If you are reading in a news app, access the full filing here.
The suit is brought by Plaintiff “Amanda Heine.” From language used in the filing: “Plaintiff Amanda Heine, individually and on behalf of all others similar situated, brings this class action complaint against Defendant Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees (“FAU or Defendant”). Plaintiff makes the following allegations upon personal knowledge as to her own acts, and upon information and belief, and her attorneys’ investigation, as to all other matters, alleging the following:
“This is a class action brought by Plaintiff Heine, who was an undergraduate student in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University during the Spring 2020 academic semester, on behalf of all person who paid fees to FAU for any academic semester in 2020 and who, because of FAU’s response and policies relating to the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, did not receive the benefits of the on-campus services for which their fees were paid, without having pro-rated portion of those fees and costs refunded to them or otherwise refunded or waived in full and without condition.”
“This is one of many lawsuits around the country in which students have demanded that colleges and universities refund them the fees they paid for on-campus services and resources which were not available to them as a result of the campus closures in 2020. The universities make millions of dollars in revenue from the mandatory fees they charge students (in addition to their increasing tuition costs) in exchange for the services and resources they provide for students…students like Plaintiff, who were already struggling financially due to the unique challenges brought on by the pandemic, were nonetheless charged for and paid these fees.”
“Courts in Florida have concluded that similar class action lawsuits brought against other Florida colleges and universities state viable causes of action that are not barred by sovereign immunity.”
According to Moskowitz, “All of the courts have concluded that the schools entered a contract with each student and therefore waived any immunity defense. These same schools attempt to collect over $1 billion in student debt each day, so they obviously think they have an agreement and basis to collect the alleged debt.”
Florida Atlantic University Spokesman Joshua Glanzer did respond to a request for response when contacted on Saturday. The suit was filed late Friday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
A social media profile suggests that someone with the same name as the Plaintiff spent time at FAU taking classes about class action lawsuits.
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