Lawsuit: California universities owe virus-related refunds

The California State University and the University of California systems were sued Monday by students demanding refunds of some campus fees since the virus pandemic closed schools and forced learning online.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 11:01 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California State University and the University of California systems were sued Monday by students demanding refunds of some campus fees since the virus pandemic closed schools and forced learning online.

The class-action lawsuits, filed in federal courts in Los Angeles and Oakland, say that the systems that serve more than 700,000 students have refused to refund unused portions of fees for campus-related services that spring-semester students aren’t using, such as health facilities, student association dues and student centers.

The campuses have been closed since March because of the COVID-19 outbreak and athletic events have been cancelled.

“The effect of CSU’s COVID-19-related protocols and messaging is that all students have effectively been forced to leave campus, unless they truly had no other safe place to go,” the Los Angeles suit said. “For students who do remain on campus, services are now extremely limited. For students who do not live on campus, there is no reason to come to campus, since all activities have been cancelled.”

Messages seeking comment from both systems weren’t immediately returned Monday night.

The fees ranged from around $850 to more than $4,000 for CSU students for the 2019-2020 academic year while the UC basic student services fee was around $1,100, while fees related to specific campuses doubled that or more, according to the lawsuits.

“It is improper for them to attempt to retain what amounts to many millions of dollars in aggregate in campus fees they collected from their students, even though they terminated the services that these fees covered,” said Adam Levitt, one of the lawyers filing the suits. “A college education is already a monumental expense for students and their families, and to essentially offer them no relief on these material expenditures, particularly during a time when millions of Americans are struggling financially, is not only tone-deaf but unfair and unlawful.”

Similar lawsuits were previously filed against universities in Arizona and against Liberty University, a nonprofit evangelical Christian college in Virginia.

 

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122168

Reported Deaths: 4444
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles596922532
Riverside8303345
San Diego7798283
Orange6783165
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda364197
Santa Clara2850144
San Francisco264443
Imperial249330
Kern246245
San Mateo224484
Tulare208392
Fresno194437
Santa Barbara171414
Contra Costa154738
Sacramento149058
Ventura119035
Kings11876
San Joaquin102436
Stanislaus79230
Monterey62110
Sonoma5934
Solano55922
Marin52517
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2881
Placer2599
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21624
Madera1293
Napa1263
Humboldt1044
El Dorado980
San Benito962
Butte601
Nevada491
Sutter482
Del Norte470
Shasta404
Mono371
Mendocino330
Yuba311
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Calaveras160
Mariposa161
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Tuolumne50
Lassen50
Plumas40
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