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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: 775037

Reported Deaths: 14804
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2572716324
Riverside563741143
San Bernardino51467839
Orange513991115
San Diego43619754
Kern31076340
Fresno27381348
Sacramento20961371
Alameda20162365
Santa Clara19891295
San Joaquin19701407
Stanislaus16150325
Contra Costa15544197
Tulare15486255
Ventura12073141
Imperial11457310
San Francisco1056991
San Mateo9332142
Monterey919765
Santa Barbara8785109
Merced8692131
Kings715877
Sonoma6827114
Marin6505111
Solano605455
Madera427058
Placer338541
San Luis Obispo331627
Yolo272153
Butte270433
Santa Cruz21088
Sutter162110
Napa158713
San Benito126010
Yuba11087
El Dorado10544
Mendocino81718
Lassen7300
Shasta66114
Glenn5473
Colusa4996
Nevada4975
Tehama4853
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2163
Inyo18714
Mono1632
Siskiyou1590
Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
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