October 2, 2023

FAU Shutdown Case Goes to Supreme Court

A lawsuit stemming from the shutdown of Florida Atlantic University’s campus early in the COVID-19 pandemic has gone to the state Supreme Court.

An attorney for students filed a notice late Friday that is a first step in asking the Supreme Court to review an April 26 ruling by a panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal.

The FAU lawsuit is one of numerous cases filed in Florida and other states alleging that colleges and universities breached contracts during the shutdown and should be required to refund money to students.

But the appellate-court panel upheld a circuit judge’s decision to dismiss the FAU case, finding that the university didn’t have an “express, written contract” with the students named as plaintiffs, Amanda Heine and Jhayla Stready.

The Supreme Court is considering a case in which the 1st District Court of Appeal reached a similar conclusion in a potential class-action lawsuit filed against the University of Florida.

Also, the 1st District Court of Appeal and the 3rd District Court of Appeal have rejected cases filed by students against Florida A&M University, Miami Dade College and Florida International University.

But the 2nd District Court of Appeal last year refused a request by the University of South Florida to dismiss a similar potential class-action lawsuit.

The Supreme Court on Jan. 5 declined to take up an appeal by USF. As is common, the notice filed in the Florida Atlantic case did not include detailed arguments.

Tags: News Service of Florida

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