Tags: Coronavirus | Education | Religion | liberty university | covid-19 | lawsuit | student

Liberty University Student Lawsuit: School Profiting Off Pandemic

Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks to the media during an interview
Jerry Falwell Jr. (Steve Helber/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 April 2020 04:18 PM

A Liberty University student has filed a class-action lawsuit against the evangelical school, saying it is using the coronavirus pandemic to profit off its students.

According to the lawsuit, reported on by Law & Crime, the school is refusing to refund fees for services that are not being offered because of the pandemic. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

The class action was brought on behalf of all students who paid fees to cover the costs of services or activities such as parking, room and board, campus fees, activity fees and athletics fees for the Spring semester, according to the complaint.

Liberty suspended on-campus classes for a short time, then reopened to students. The school, headed by Jerry Falwell Jr., fell under attack for the move, but Falwell said students were not required to return to in-person classes, nor to on-campus living. Those options were made available only for those who had no other option available and considered it the safest alternative, he said at the time.

But the lawsuit argues Liberty has offered only a $1,000 refund to students even though on-campus services and activities are no longer available. The total fees paid by students for the semester was $9,000 to $16,000, according to Law & Crime.

"Indeed, to the extent that Liberty has offered any refunds to Class members, those refunds have been a mere fraction of what Liberty actually owes Plaintiff and the other Class members for the unused (and unusable) portions of the fees that they paid to Liberty for services that Liberty has discontinued, thereby causing material financial losses to the students and their families," the lawsuit read.

Liberty has said it "tirelessly attempted to balance the needs of students, employees, and the community as it has navigated through the unprecedented health challenges presented by COVID-19."

More information on policies to protect religious freedom can be found in Justice Dept Seeks to Protect Religious Freedom in Pandemic 

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A class-action lawsuit against Liberty University, filed by a student, claims it is using the coronavirus pandemic to profit off its students.
liberty university, covid-19, lawsuit, student, pandemic, housing
Tuesday, 14 April 2020 04:18 PM
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