FSU faces lawsuit over campus closure

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 2:07 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NSF) - Florida State University this week was hit with a potential class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of students who were forced to learn online last spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorneys for Harrison Broer, an Auburndale resident who was a Florida State law-school student in spring 2020, filed the lawsuit Monday in Leon County circuit court. Like similar lawsuits filed in Florida and other states, it contends that students paid to learn in person but were short-changed when they had to take classes remotely.

The lawsuit alleges that Florida State has not offered “fair and/or appropriate refunds of fees charged for tuition and other services paid to cover the cost of certain on-campus services which are no longer available to students. To the extent refunds have been offered, the refunds have not been commensurate with the financial losses to the students and their families. Defendants have improperly retained monies paid by plaintiff (Broer) and the other members of the proposed class, while prohibiting or otherwise preventing plaintiff and the other members of the proposed class from obtaining the benefits for which they paid.”

The lawsuit comes after the Legislature last month passed a bill (HB 1261) designed to shield colleges and universities from such cases. The bill has not formally been sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis and would take effect July 1.

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