Parent Can Sue College over COVID-19 Shutdown
Education Partner Paul Lannon was cited in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on a recent Superior Court decision allowing a lawsuit against a college that switched to remote learning to move forward. The plaintiff, a parent of a student at Stonehill College, is suing the university for failing to reimburse tuition and other fees associated with in-person learning. Stonehill College filed a motion to dismiss the case, but the motion was denied. Mr. Lannon, who is defending other colleges and universities in similar matters, said the decision is in line with most motion-to-dismiss rulings, especially because it allowed breach of contract claims and unjust enrichment claims to proceed to discovery while dismissing statutory consumer protection claims.
"[Plaintiffs] seek compensation for the difference in value between in-person education and online instruction. Courts shouldn't be in the business of distinguishing the value of in-person education and online education because it varies," he said. "For different students, it can be of equal value, greater value, or lesser value to have [education] online, but that's a highly individualized and subjective analysis."
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