Milberg Files Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Wayne State Students
Wayne State University switched to online learning and asked their students to leave campus without providing them with adequate refunds for tuition, room and board, and fees, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by Milberg Phillips Grossman LLP.
“The University’s decision to transition to online classes and to request or encourage students to leave campus were responsible decisions to make, but it is unfair and unlawful for the University to retain full tuition and fees and a disproportionate share of prepaid amounts for room and board costs and fees and to refuse to reduce any outstanding charges, effectively passing the losses on to the students and their families,” states the lawsuit.
Higher education institutions across the United States have closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, moving students off-campus and moving lessons online. But unlike many of its peers, Wayne State has not provided appropriate refunds and reductions in charges. For example, annual room and board costs at Wayne State for shared occupancy of a double room with the lowest price meal plan is approximately $10,694. But the University has only offered an $850 credit for students who followed its directive to move out of residence halls. This credit does not reflect the full, unused portion of the room and board payments for the portion of the semester students were no longer on campus.
The lawsuit makes similar claims for Winter 2020 semester tuition and fees. It takes issue with Wayne State denying students live-in person instruction but charging them the same tuition as for a traditional, on-campus learning experience. It also notes that the University retained student fees charged for the semester, even though most campus buildings were closed and all student activities were canceled for the remainder of the semester.
This is Milberg’s latest effort to stop universities from denying students and their families adequate restitution for coronavirus financial losses. Milberg previously filed tuition, room, board, and fee class action lawsuits against Purdue University and Michigan State University. The firm has also filed a ticket refund lawsuit against Major League Baseball and a ski pass refund lawsuit against Vail Resorts, Inc. Since its founding in 1965, Milberg has repeatedly taken the lead in landmark cases that have set groundbreaking legal precedents and recovered more than $50 billion in verdicts and settlements.