🏛️💰 Delaware University Says “Show Me The Money!” 🎓💼 Settles COVID Shutdown Lawsuit with a Hefty $6.3 Million!
TL;DR: In a monumental turn of events, the University of Delaware agrees to shell out $6.3 million, following a class-action lawsuit spurred by the campus shutdown due to COVID-19 in 2020. Around 21,000 students could be getting a piece of the settlement pie 🥧💵, but the university continues to deny any wrongdoing. Ain’t that a hoot? 🦉
Once upon a time in 2020, a sneaky virus called COVID-19 crashed the University of Delaware’s party, shutting down the campus and halting in-person classes. Now, fast forward to June 2023, the university is on the hook to cough up a whopping $6.3 million to settle a lawsuit related to that shutdown. Talk about a pandemic plot twist! 🌀
Hey, you know what they say, “The customer is always right,” right? 🤷♀️ The court ruling this month saw President Dennis Assanis and the plaintiffs coming to an agreement, potentially allowing about 21,000 current and former students to get cash reimbursements. But wait, there’s a twist: the university continues to assert its innocence. Hmmm… 🧐
The financial settlement took shape in April, a month after the court green-lit this legal drama to proceed as a class-action suit. So, where’s all this money going? 🤑💰
The university will pay $6.3 million into an escrow account handled by a settlement administrator. From this amount, $2.1 million goes to the plaintiffs’ attorneys in fees (somebody’s gotta pay those legal eagles 🦅💼), with an additional $250,000 to cover expenses. Five students leading the lawsuit can look forward to $5,000 each as class representatives.
The leftover cash will be distributed among the class members, i.e., undergrad and grad students who paid for tuition and fees during the spring 2020 semester and don’t opt out of the settlement. These students can expect checks in their mail or payments through Venmo or PayPal, thanks to a convenient online form on the upcoming settlement website.
The controversy started when students claimed that the university charged them fees for on-campus facilities like the gym, student centers, and the health center, but failed to provide the services during the pandemic lockdown. The university collected more than $160 million in tuition that semester, so students are questioning why the price tag didn’t reflect the reality of their online schooling. The judge agreed that the school implicitly promised them in-person classes, activities, and services.
Is it fair to charge the same for in-person and online classes? 🎓💻 Is a digital experience equal to the real-life university experience, especially when you’re not even allowed to step foot on campus?💡
And here’s your food for thought: If other universities followed in the University of Delaware’s footsteps, what kind of precedent would that set? And how would this affect higher education in the future? Is this a win for the students or just another symptom of our COVID-changed world? 🌍
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