As discussed in previous posts (about Rutgers UniversityGeorge Washington University and American University, and New York University) many coronavirus lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States to seek reimbursement for college tuition, room, board, meal plans, and fees. This strand also includes the class action filed by a student of the Lindenwood University on behalf of all people who paid tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 academic semester.

Because of the University’s response to the pandemic, these students lost the benefit of the education for which they had paid, and/or the services or facilities for which their fees were paid, without having their tuition and fees refunded to them.

Plaintiffs highlighted that, during periods of normal operations, Lindenwood charges less for online courses than for in-person courses. Accordingly, they alleged that Lindenwood had improperly retained funds for services that have diminished in value or were not being provided at all. In reply to such allegations, pointing to breach of contract and unjust enrichment actions, the university argued that the plaintiffs had failed to identify a specific promise for in-person instruction and that Missouri courts do not recognize general "implied contracts" between students and universities and do not have standing to determine whether a person's education was adequate (see, for example, Raimo v. Washington University, District Court of Missouri, 16 March 2022). However, the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri rejected the university’s motion to dismiss the case on such grounds.

The parties then reached a settlement of the case according to which the university is to pay an overall amount of $ 1,650,000.00. By order of 11 May 2022, the District Court approved the settlement and dismissed the case.

Full text of the decision available at en
Class Action Settlement Agreement of 5 January 2022. 
Full text of the decision available at en
Judgment of the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri of 11 May 2022.