Class Action Litigation Report® is a one-stop resource for tracking the most important class-action and multi-party litigation across the nation, and across all subjects with particular focus on...
By Perry Cooper
Aug. 16 — Widener University School of Law successfully held off class certification in a suit over fudged employment statistics ( Harnish v. Widener Univ. School of Law, 2016 BL 264524, 3d Cir., No. 15-3888, 8/16/16 ).
Certification was properly denied because the former students failed to produce sufficient class-wide evidence to support their theory that Widener inflated tuition based on those false numbers, Judge Michael A. Chagares wrote Aug. 16 for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
John Harnish and other Widener Law graduates alleged that the school intentionally published misleading statistics about post-graduate employment (13 CLASS 125, 2/10/12).
Between 2005 and 2011, Widener reported that 90 to 97 percent of its students were employed after graduation. But those figures included non-legal and part-time positions, the class action alleged. In reality, only 50 to 70 percent of graduates got full-time legal jobs.
The former students argued the misleading statistics enabled Widener to charge its students inflated tuition. They sought damages equal to the amount they overpaid under New Jersey and Delaware consumer fraud statutes.
The plaintiffs offered no direct evidence that the Wilmington, Del.-based school changed its prices based on the anticipated effect their employment statistics would have on the overall market, the court said.
“The plaintiffs have therefore failed to propose a cognizable theory of damages that is sufficiently supported by class-wide evidence,” the court said.
The inability to resolve the damages theory class-wide causes individual questions to predominate over common ones, precluding class certification, the court concluded.
Stone & Magnanini represented the plaintiffs.
Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker and Lum Drasco & Positan represented Widener.
To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)