Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

GWU And NYU Beat Student COVID-19 Tuition Refund Lawsuits

GWU NYU (2021)Law360, GWU Beats Students' COVID-19 Tuition Refund Suit:

A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a consolidated proposed class action demanding tuition refunds from George Washington University for transitioning to online learning during the pandemic, ruling the institution never promised students in-person classes.

In an eight-page order, U.S. Judge Richard J. Leon agreed with the university that the students who brought the cases last May did not adequately plead their breach of contract claim.

"Plaintiffs point to broad descriptions of GW's campus and common student experiences, as well as customary practice," the judge found. They did argue the differences between GW's in-person and online degree programs, "but these general descriptions and distinctions do not create enforceable obligations on the part of GW."

"Moreover, plaintiffs do not identify any language or other evidence in … university documents or elsewhere indicating GW's intent to be bound to provide in-person instruction," the judge added.

Law360, NYU Beats COVID-19 Student Tuition Refund Suit:

A New York federal judge on Wednesday tossed a proposed class action against New York University launched by students hoping for tuition refunds after the school moved instruction online during the pandemic, finding that the school never promised in-person education.

In a 12-page order, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels determined that NYU student Daniel Zagoria did not adequately plead a breach of contract claim against the school because NYU did not promise to provide in-person educational services.

"Plaintiff does not point to any express language promising the 'certain specified service' of in-person classes," the judge wrote in his order. "Moreover, plaintiff has not pointed to any express language that demonstrates NYU 'relinquished its authority' to alter the method of academic instruction."

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