(BLOOMINGTON) – IU Bloomington undergraduate student Justin Spiegle is suing the university over COVID-19 related fees and expenses.
Spiegel, from Illinois, is studying informatics at IU’s Bloomington campus and is asking for some of his tuition money back, as well as reimbursement for certain fees.
Like most colleges and universities around the country, IU moved to online instruction to address concerns about the potential for the virus to spread quickly through classrooms and campuses.
Spiegel has hired lawyer Roy Willey, of South Carolina, who says the class-action suit is all about fairness.
Willey says colleges and universities can’t charge a student for services and access they don’t receive.
The class action complaint was filed on May 6 in Monroe County Circuit Court by Cox Law Offices in Indianapolis and Charleston, South Carolina-based Anastopoulo Law Firm.
It is outlined in the complaint the university responded appropriately by moving courses online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also argues that the plaintiff and those similarly affected should be reimbursed on a pro-rated basis for tuition and fees for services the university allegedly is not providing.
IU spokesperson Chuck Carney provided the following statement regarding the law suit:
“In the midst of a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on our entire way of life, Indiana University has acted responsibly to keep our students safe and progressing in their education. We are deeply disappointed that this lawsuit fails to recognize the extraordinary efforts of our faculty, staff, and students under these conditions while it seeks to take advantage in this time of state and national emergency.”
Purdue University is facing similar legal action.
A class-action complaint filed last month claims Purdue “unjustly enriched” itself during the coronavirus epidemic and owes students money back for goods not delivered, not to mention a diminished online experience.
In Michigan, lawsuits have been filed against the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.