LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - University of Phoenix, in a court filing earlier this month, argues that a proposed class action filed against it for allegedly engaging in fraudulent business practices should be dismissed.
The for-profit college filed its motion in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Feb. 17.
“Setting aside the pleading defects of Plaintiff’s fraud-based claims, no reasonable person could have relied on these alleged misrepresentations, particularly in light of the language in the Enrollment Agreement, which Plaintiff signed, and the Academic Catalog, which Plaintiff acknowledged understanding,” lawyers for college wrote in the 23-page motion.
“Moreover, these alleged misrepresentations were statements based on future events, not existing material facts, and thus cannot support a claim for fraud.”
The college argues the “defects” in the plaintiff’s first amended complaint cannot be cured, therefore it should be dismissed “in its entirety” and without leave to amend.
In November, a former University of Phoenix psychology student in California sued, alleging that the college engaged in fraudulent business practices when it sold her a “pipe dream” of transferable credits and a guaranteed job after graduation.
Ashley Parades, a 22-year-old mother of three, is seeking class action status for students who enrolled at the university, borrowed tens of thousands of dollars in federal loans and yet found themselves unemployed with allegedly worthless college credits.
Parades enrolled at the University of Phoenix after, she claims, she was promised her associate degree would allow her to continue on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and work as a licensed counselor.
The lawsuit alleges the recruiters for the college promised prospective students that the credits earned at the school would transfer to comparable programs at schools such as California State University.
In the complaint, Parades alleges the university’s admissions specialists used aggressive, deceptive, misleading and fraudulent tactics to persuade students to enroll.
According to the lawsuit, many students were unable to finish their studies and many more who graduated still could not find jobs -- and regardless of the outcome, students were stuck with large amounts of debt.
The case was originally filed in San Bernadino County Superior Court, but removed to the federal court in December.
Representing the plaintiff is attorney Michael T. Carr. Felicia Y. Yu and Raymond Y. Kim of Los Angeles law firm Reed Smith are representing University of Phoenix.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.