Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Liberty University For Its Handling of the Coronavirus
Joe: 106.7WIZN, AC/DC “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,” heard Ozzy in “Crazy Train” before that. Joe Vega here with you on your Wednesday “Rock and Ride Home.” I have Paul Harding on the phone right now from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Paul.
Paul: Hey there, Joe. How are you?
Joe: I am doing well. So, calling you because I was reading this story online about Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is run by Jerry Falwell Jr. who’s, of course, the son of the famous TV evangelist. They just had a huge class action lawsuit filed against them by lawyers representing the students who are still being charged everything from Liberty University even though they had to go home due to COVID-19. And I was wondering if you could expand on that a little bit.
Paul: Sure. Yeah, you know, that is a bit of a PR nightmare coming out of Liberty University, you know with… Oh, we’re seeing it across the country, we really are. You know, we’re seeing that what’s happening is the schools are going online, so they’re saying, “Hey, we’re not reimbursing you for tuition costs because the academics, although different, are being administered to you.” But where the issue’s coming in is what schools are returning some, most are not returning all, but some of the money for the meals and room and board.
Liberty took the position, said, “Listen, our dorms are still open because we have some students who don’t have a home or can’t get home. They’re international students. Therefore, we’re open. You could’ve stayed here. You chose not to and we’re not gonna be refunding anything.” Interesting, on that note, you know, I looked in UBM on this. I saw that on the 19th they had 6,000 petition signatures from students.
Paul: Yeah, who basically said, “Listen, we don’t think we should be charged everything.” And the school at that point said, “No, pursuant to your contract for room and board, we don’t have to give you anything back.” They actually said that, but then later on they said, “We’re looking at this and we’re gonna see where it goes.” I didn’t do the follow-up. I don’t know what happened, but this is just something happening all over the country.
Joe: No kidding. So, Liberty University is not the only University that’s doing this?
Paul: They’re the only ones that I know that got served with a class-action lawsuit for it, but probably more to follow if they don’t cough up some reasonable amount of the tuition. And again, some of the issues are the schools don’t have money, right? Because they’re operating…some schools do but some schools are just operating in the negative. And so, something like this, they’ve gotta figure out how to pay it back.
Joe: But yeah, I mean, that’s, kind of, everyone right now, is operating in the negative. It came across me…I think you touched on it, horrible PR. I mean, who’s sending their kids to Liberty University now? But if a lot of the universities are doing it, then maybe they do have a point. I don’t know, but thanks for coming on and explaining that to me, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding and Mazzotti. Thanks, Paul.
Paul: Thank you, Joe.
Joe: You, of course, can call Martin, Harding and Mazzotti at any time at 1-800-LAW-1010 or go online to 1800law1010.com. All right, I’m outta here, Mel Allen taking over. He’s got music from Tom Petty and Motley Crue next.