Judge Approves Settlement Over Trump University

Apr 02, 2017, 01:07
Judge Approves Settlement Over Trump University

Two class-action suits were launched in California in 2010 by former students who claimed they had been deceived by false marketing, and a suit was brought by NY state attorney general Eric Schneiderman in 2013.

The decision ends almost seven years of legal battles with customers who claimed they were misled by failed promises to learn Trump's secrets of real estate success.

Approximately 3,370 former students alleged that the university had cheated them by use of high pressure sales techniques and outright lies about what they would get out of their time at Trump University.

Mr Trump had vowed never to settle, but said after he was elected that he did not have time for a trial, even though he believed he would have prevailed.

The ruling from Judge Gonzalo Curiel, seen by AFP, ends three lawsuits relating to Trump University, affecting around 4,000 claimants.

This Sunday night, "The Simpsons" will air a suspiciously-timed new episode parodying Trump University, the now-defunct for-profit real estate college owned and operated by the Trump Organization until it went out of business in 2010.

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In his ruling today, Judge Curiel called the $25 million settlement "extraordinary" in that it represented an estimated 80 percent recovery for the students. After his stunning presidential win in November, Trump chose to settle the lawsuits, saying he did not have the time for a trial.

"Class counsels' exceptional decision to provide almost seven years of legal services to class members on a pro bono basis evidences not only a lack of collusion, but also that class counsel are in fact representing the best interests of plaintiffs and the class members in this settlement", he wrote.

Under the settlement, Trump will have to pay a total of $25 million in restitution, which means that all of the 6,000 people who sued will get 90% of their money back.

Trump initially filed an unsuccessful countersuit after the complaint was first filed in 2010, the same year the training program went bankrupt, and the ordeal became a topic of debate during the real estate magnate's 16-month White House bid. Under terms of the settlement, he admitted no wrongdoing. Sherri Simpson, a claimant from Ft.

Attorneys for both Trump and the plaintiffs have said the deadline to opt out passed in November 2015. During the election, she appeared in two anti-Trump campaign ads. Another customer, Harold Doe, objected to the settlement because he wants more money, according to court filings by attorneys for Trump and the plaintiffs.

At one point during the presidential campaign, Trump was widely criticized for his comments about the federal judge who oversaw the lawsuits against Trump University, claiming that the judge was biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

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