University of Florida Students Sue for Breach of Contract
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Americans to change their way of life. Many have lost their jobs. Businesses have shut down. Students cannot attend school in person.
While the pandemic was unexpected and has forced businesses to make necessary changes, many are refusing to refund customers for money they spent on things that didn’t happen, such as events, gym memberships, concerts, vacations and even schooling.
Many university students spend thousands of dollars each semester on the full college experience—tuition, living on campus, and joining clubs, among other things. When students cannot attend campus and must learn online from home, shouldn’t they be compensated because they did not get the experience they anticipated? Would this be considered a breach of contract?
Some University of Florida students think so. University campuses in the state have been shut down since March, and so far there have been two class-action lawsuits seeking refunds that students paid for the spring semester. A federal lawsuit filed against the University of Florida’s Board of Trustees states that students should have their tuition and fees reimbursed since they had to take classes online for two months of the spring semester. The lawsuits allege unjust enrichment and breach of contract.
After it was announced that classes at the University of Florida campuses would be moving online, the university quickly issued prorated refunds of housing and dining payments. But that wasn’t enough for the students, who pay more than $6,300 a year in tuition. They felt additional refunds were warranted.
After COVID-19 quickly spread to the United States in March, school districts, colleges and university systems across the country made decisions to cancel in-person classes and transition to online learning. University of Florida President Kent Fuchs agreed that we are living in “extraordinary and uncertain times” and understands that students are concerned about the changes they have to make to accommodate the situation. However, the University of Florida also attests that tuition fees should not have to be refunded, since students were still able to complete their classes and receive credits for work completed. Essentially, school did change and it was delivered in a different format, but the end result was the same.
Not only were students forced to attend classes remotely, but if they lived on campus, they were forced to move out. This was disruptive to students who suddenly had to find a new place to live. On top of that, not all students were fully compensated for the changes they had to make to their lives.
While the coronavirus was unexpected, students feel that more could have been done to make their lives easier. They and their families should not have to eat the costs.
Seek Legal Help
COVID-19 has brought about a lot of breaches in contracts. Businesses may not be able to deliver, but consumers should not have to suffer.
Fort Lauderdale breach of contract lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you handle issues where you paid money for something that never happened. We can help you understand available remedies. Call our office at 954-764-4330 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation.