Ford, et al. v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
United States District Court Northern District of New York
Case No. 1:20-cv-00470-DNH
About This Case
SETTLEMENT UPDATE as of January 9, 2024:
The Court granted final approval of this Settlement on January 9, 2024. Settlement awards will be distributed on April 8, 2024. Please review the Final Approval Order for more information.
IF YOU WERE A RPI STUDENT WHO WAS ENROLLED AT THE RPI CAMPUS IN TROY, NEW YORK IN ANY RPI COURSE AS OF MARCH 10, 2020 DURING THE SPRING 2020 SEMESTER AND/OR SUMMER ARCH 2020 SEMESTER AND WERE NOT A NON-MATRICULATED/NON-PAYING STUDENT (AS DEFINED BELOW), AND YOU DO NOT OPT OUT (AS DESCRIBED BELOW), THEN YOU ARE PART OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT CLASS (A “SETTLEMENT CLASS MEMBER”) AFFECTED BY THIS LAWSUIT.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York has authorized this notice. It is not a solicitation from a lawyer. You are not being sued. If you have received a notice of this lawsuit in the mail or by email, you have been identified as a person who is or may be a member of the settlement class in this lawsuit, and the proposed settlement of this lawsuit, if approved, may affect your legal rights. You should read the notice carefully.
The purpose of this website notice is to inform you of a proposed Settlement relating to a class action lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs, students at RPI during the Spring 2020 and Summer Arch 2020 semesters, against RPI, on behalf of a putative class of students who were enrolled at the RPI campus in Troy, New York, in any RPI course as of March 10, 2020. The case is captioned Morgan Ford, Ethan Deecher, and Grady Habicht, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Case No. 1:20-cv-00470-DNH-CFH (the “Action”).
In this Action, Plaintiffs alleged they are entitled to certain damages from RPI representing tuition and fees paid during the Spring 2020 semester and/or Summer Arch 2020 semester when RPI provided classes remotely and closed its campus in Troy, New York, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that RPI failed to provide educational services, housing, dining and access to on-campus facilities and activities when it transitioned to remote learning. Plaintiffs sought on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, damages representing of a portion of their tuition and fees for the Spring 2020 and Summer Arch 2020 semesters.
RPI denies all allegations of liability on any basis and has denied and continues to deny that it committed, or threatened or attempted to commit, any wrongful act or violation of law or duty alleged in the Action, and there has been no finding of liability in any court. Considering the interest of both RPI and its students in prompt resolution of the matter, RPI and Plaintiffs have agreed that, to resolve this Action, RPI will pay $6,500,000 into a Settlement Fund to be divided evenly among Settlement Class Members who do not opt out.
The terms of the agreement are set forth in the proposed Settlement that must be approved by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. The notice includes information about the proposed Settlement, a final approval hearing scheduled by the Court, and the process for being heard by the Court.
SUMMARY OF THE OPTIONS AND THE LEGAL EFFECT OF EACH OPTION FOR SETTLEMENT CLASS MEMBERS
DO NOTHING AND AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE A PAYMENT
If you are a Settlement Class member your payment from the Settlement Fund will be sent automatically to your last known mailing address on file with RPI. Click here to (a) provide an updated address for sending a check; or (b) elect to receive the Settlement Benefit by Venmo or PayPal instead of a paper check.
See FAQ 7.
EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT
You can choose to “opt out” of the proposed Settlement. Opting out means that you choose not to participate in the proposed Settlement. It also means that you cannot object to the proposed Settlement. If you opt out, you will not receive a payment and you will keep any individual claims you may have against RPI relating to the transition to remote learning in the Spring 2020 and Summer Arch 2020 semesters. For more detailed opt-out instructions, see FAQ 11.
Postmarked no later than November 6, 2023.
OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT
You can file an objection with the Court explaining why you believe the Court should reject the proposed Settlement. If your objection is overruled by the Court and the proposed Settlement is approved, then you would be included in the Settlement Class. If the Court agrees with your objection, then the proposed Settlement may not be approved. If you choose to object, you may not also opt out of the proposed Settlement as only participating class members may object to a proposed Settlement. For more detailed objection instructions, see FAQ 12.
Postmarked no later than November 6, 2023.
These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—along with the material terms of the proposed Settlement are explained further in the notice.