ST. LOUIS, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With their Spring 2020 semester devastated by the coronavirus outbreak, a University of Missouri student, seeking to represent a class of his schoolmates, sued the university system for compounding their hardship by failing to reimburse them for portions of their tuition and on-campus fees which they paid for but never benefited from.
The University of Missouri System, which refers to itself as a "$3B enterprise with a broad statewide reach," closed its campuses for the majority of the Spring 2020 semester, and while the closures were understandable, the refusal to refund students their money is not. The complaint states the system's roughly 75,000 students did not sign up for a school that was only offering an online education; instead, they chose and paid for the complete in-person university experience. The result is that every attending student enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester received a diminished educational experience and received no or reduced value from student fees that they paid. Despite this, the University of Missouri has not refunded any tuition, and refunds for student fees have either been nonexistent or inadequate.
"These students are not wealthy, and many have had to move back in with their parents because of the closures and the money they lost. At a time when the economy will hit new graduates particularly hard, it's shameful the UM system is refusing to do right by the young people it is sworn to educate and raise up as leaders," said attorney Mike Arias of Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos which has filed numerous lawsuits related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including business interruption lawsuits on behalf of businesses forced to close due to the outbreak.
Between the thousands of dollars in tuition for the Spring 2020 semester and the hundreds of dollars in mandatory fees (such as the $150 recreation center fee, $222 student activity fee and $14 IT fee), each of these students is out a substantial sum of money. The suit alleges the University of Missouri's refusal to reimburse this money constitutes breach of contract and violate state law.
"Like many other institutions, organizations, and companies, the University of Missouri made the right decision in closing its campuses during COVID-19; however, the leadership did the wrong thing by not reimbursing students the money they paid to learn from live professors, spend time on campus, and network with their current and future peers," said attorney Rick Cornfeld of the Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld, LLC.
The case is Student A v. The University of Missouri, Circuit Court for the County of Boone, Missouri Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Case No. 20BA-CV01729.
Complaint is available - https://drive.google.com/open?d=1hBEM1pCPkZKljTdOUoG9PpE9pt3cP21r.
About Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP
With offices in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Las Vegas and Montreal, Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos represents clients in complex litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Some of our practice areas include: Class Actions, Mass Torts, Major Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Intellectual Property Rights. To learn more about us, go to: www.aswtlawyers.com.
Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld, LLC
Based in St. Louis, The Law Office of Richard S. Cornfeld, LLC, pursues justice for consumers and employees through class action remedies. Richard Cornfeld founded the firm after a 30-year career at one of St. Louis' major law firms defending some of the country's largest lawsuits. Today, his firm fights for and obtains redress for those wronged by corporations and other entities throughout the United States. Learn more at www.cornfeldlegal.com.