Porter v Emerson College
United States District Court District of Massachusetts
NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
TO: All students and former students, including graduate and undergraduate, who remained enrolled as of March 13, 2020, who paid, or on whose behalf payment was made to, Defendant Emerson College for Spring 2020 Semester tuition and fees for educational services that were not entirely online, and whose tuition and fees have not been refunded.
This relates to a proposed settlement of class action litigation. It has been authorized by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. It contains important information as to your right to participate in the settlement or elect not to be included in the class. The following detail your options, your rights, and common questions or issues that Class Members ask about class action settlements.
Ryan Porter (“Plaintiff”), a student of Emerson College (“Emerson” or “Defendant”) during the Spring 2020 semester, commenced this action alleging breach of contract and quasi contract claims stemming from Emerson’s transition to remote learning and services during the Spring 2020 Semester as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Court in charge of this case is the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The lawsuit is known as Porter v. Emerson College (the “Lawsuit”). Ryan Porter is the Named Plaintiff, and Emerson College is the Defendant (together, the “Parties”). Plaintiff alleges in the Lawsuit that, among other things, Emerson breached the terms of the contract entered into with Plaintiff and similarly situated individuals when Emerson stopped providing in-person and on-campus educational services, as well as access to certain campus services and facilities on or about March 13, 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Plaintiff sought, for himself and the Class members, a pro-rated refund of tuition and fees for the respective time that Emerson switched to remote learning and services.
Emerson has defended and vigorously contested the claims in the Lawsuit. Emerson has asserted numerous defenses and denies any and all liability and wrongdoing. The Parties have decided to settle the Lawsuit to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and distraction of litigation. Mediation with Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein resulted in a proposal and resolution that was accepted by both Parties to resolve the claims in this action and would result in class-wide relief in exchange for a class-wide release of claims. The Court has not decided who is right and who is wrong or whether this case could, in the absence of settlement, proceed as a class action.
The Parties have agreed to settle the Lawsuit subject to the approval of the Court via a signed Settlement Agreement and Release (referred to herein as “Settlement”). Emerson has agreed to pay a maximum of Two Million Sixty Thousand Dollars ($2,060,000.00) to create a settlement fund that will provide compensation to Settlement Class Members, pay for notice and administration costs, provide for any approved service award to Plaintiff, and compensate the attorneys for any approved fees, costs, and expenses. The Parties have reached this Settlement through negotiations and mediation sessions and then presented it to the Court. As determined through that process, you are entitled to participate, and your legal rights may be affected. These rights and options are summarized below and explained in detail throughout this Notice.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:
As described more fully below, to participate in the settlement you do not need to do anything. You will receive a check upon approval of the Settlement by the Court. However, if you want to receive your payment in electronic form, then you should fill out, sign and return the Election Form to the Settlement Claims Administrator by September 22, 2022 either on this website or by printing an Election Form and mailing to the Settlement Claims Administrator.
If you wish to exclude yourself (“opt-out”) from the Lawsuit, you must follow the directions outlined in response to Question 7 in the FAQs.
You may write to the Court about why you believe the settlement is unfair or unreasonable. If the Court rejects your objection, you will still be bound by the terms of the settlement for claims under Massachusetts law unless you validly and timely exclude yourself. You will not be bound by the settlement if you opt-out of this action as described herein. If you object you may request to speak to the Court about the fairness of the settlement and the Court may set a schedule for such a hearing.
Any Class Member who does not submit an Opt-Out Statement pursuant to this agreement will be deemed to have accepted the settlement and the terms of this Agreement, will be bound by the Approval Order, and will have any Released Claims released and dismissed with prejudice. Additionally, you will not be allowed to pursue claims (as described herein) against Emerson, separately or as part of this Lawsuit.
|Payment Election Deadline||09/22/2022|
|Final Approval Hearing||09/27/2022|
For more information about the settlement, you can contact Class Counsel by writing or calling:
Michael A. Tompkins, Esq.
Leeds Brown Law, P.C.
One Old Country Road
Carle Place, New York 11514
Tel: (516) 873-9550
Jason Sultzer, Esq.
The Sultzer Law Group, P.C.
85 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 200
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
Tel: (845) 483-7100
Ian J. McLoughlin, Esq.
Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP
2 Seaport Lane
Boston, MA 02210
Tel: (617) 439-3939