July 20, 2020

Preti Flaherty Attorneys Sigmund Schutz and Greg Hansel Lead Suit to Help Students Get Housing and Tuition Refunds for Study Abroad Programs Cancelled by CIEE

In the class-action complaint, Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is cited for breach of contract for failing to refund housing and tuition for cancelled study abroad programs

A class-action suit has been filed against CIEE on behalf of thousands of college students who were denied any refund of tuition, room and board, and other fees for Spring 2020 study abroad programs that were cancelled due to COVID-19.  Preti Flaherty attorneys Sigmund Schutz and Greg Hansel and California attorney Behram Parekh of Kirtland & Packard represent the Plaintiff and proposed Class Members, who paid up to $25,000 each for international educational experiences they never received.

On March 15, 2020 CIEE cancelled all of its Spring 2020 study abroad programs due to travel disruptions and safety concerns but announced a harsh no-refund policy for the Spring 2020 programs it cancelled. By denying any refunds, CIEE placed 100% of the financial burden of cancellation on college students, many of whom took out loans to pay for the overseas education, internship and teaching experiences offered by CIEE.

“The raison d’etre of CIEE’s study abroad programs is living and studying in a different culture – an immersive international experience that cannot be replicated by remote learning online. Students bargained and paid for an actual study abroad experience, not online education from their kitchen tables,” according to the Complaint.

CIEE’s no-refund policy is in contrast with other providers of study abroad programs, some of whom have offered at least partial refunds.  The Complaint alleges that CIEE’s policy breaches its contract with students and is unjust.  

Resources

Firm Highlights

Event

From Concord: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, all legislative activities in the state of New Hampshire, with a couple of exceptions, will be handled remotely. Several employment-related bills will be considered and voted on during this...

Press Coverage

Sabattus Family's Bat Woes Prompt Bill To Force Real Estate Pest Disclosure

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Updates from the WCB February Monthly Business Meeting

The WCB met remotely on February 9, 2021, for its monthly business meeting. Following are some developments with respect to an appeal accepted by the Maine Supreme Court and claims related to Covid-19. COVID-Coded...

News

Racial Justice Fund Seeks Applications for Inaugural Round of Grants

The Maine Justice Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural grant cycle for its Racial Justice Fund. The Foundation will accept applications for grants of up to $10,000 until the deadline on Wednesday, March...

Press Coverage

Maine Newspapers Challenge Rule Concealing Electronic Court Records

A Maine court committee in December established a 90-day blackout period rule on public access to newly filed electronic court records, a move which has been challenged by Maine's newspapers as a violation of the First Amendment. Paper...

Event

From Augusta: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

On March 13, 2020, Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Sara Gideon issued a joint statement to the 129th Maine Legislature signifying their intention to suspend the remainder of the...

News

Preti Flaherty Partnership Announces Promotion of Moppin, Rideout, White to Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named three new partners: Sara N. Moppin, Laura A. Rideout, and Emily T. White.  Each attorney stands out as a distinguished practitioner within...

Event

Understanding and Navigating the She-cession

New employment data shows that women are 1.8 times more likely to have left or lost their job due to COVID-19. Between remote schooling, daycare closures, and lost support systems, women have been forced...

Publication

The Role of the Additional Insured

Insurance is an important and effective tool for reducing and allocating risks. However, insurance terms can be confusing which may lead to a misunderstanding of a policy's protections, particularly when dealing with "named insureds,"...

Publication

Answering Employer COVID-19 Vaccination Questions

As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available, employers are faced with big questions. Can we mandate vaccines for employees ? How do we manage a return to work ? Preti Flaherty's Peter Callaghan breaks...