Rosado v. Barry University, Inc.
Barry Spring 2020 Refund Settlement
Case No. 20-cv-21813-JEM

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • The lawsuit that is being settled is entitled Marlena Rosado v. Barry University, Inc. It is pending in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Case No. 1:20-cv-21813-JEM. The case is a “class action.” That means that the “Class Representative,” Marlena Rosado, is an individual who is acting on behalf of all students who were enrolled for the Spring 2020 semester at Barry University, as of March 1, 2020, which number approximately 6,100 students, and who paid tuition, room and board and/or fees when Barry University transitioned to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Class Representative has asserted a claim for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

    Barry University denies the claims asserted and contends that its actions were proper and in accordance with the terms of its student policies, agreements and applicable law. Barry University therefore denies that its actions give rise to any claim by the Class Representative or any Settlement Class Members.

  • You received a Notice because Barry University’s records indicate that you were enrolled at Barry University as of March 1, 2020 and were charged tuition and other fees that are the subject of this action. The Court directed that a Notice be sent to all Settlement Class members because each such member has a right to know about the proposed Settlement and the options available to him or her before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

  • In any lawsuit, there are risks and potential benefits that come with a trial versus settling at an earlier stage. It is the Class Representative’s and their lawyers’ job to identify when a proposed settlement offer is good enough that it justifies recommending settling the case instead of continuing to trial. In a class action, the Class Representative’s lawyers, known as Class Counsel, make this recommendation to the Class Representative. The Class Representative has the duty to act in the best interests of the class as a whole and, in this case, it is her belief, as well as Class Counsels’ opinion, that this Settlement is in the best interest of all Settlement Class members.

    There is legal uncertainty about whether a judge or a jury will find that Barry University was contractually or otherwise legally obligated to refund the tuition and fees at issue. And even if the university was contractually or otherwise wrong not to refund some or all of the tuition or fees, there is uncertainty about whether the Class Representative’s claims are subject to other defenses that might result in no recovery or to a smaller recovery to Settlement Class Members. Even if the Class Representative was to win at trial, there is no assurance that the Settlement Class Members would be awarded more than the current Settlement amount and it may take years of litigation before any payments would be made. By settling, Settlement Class Members will avoid these and other risks and the delays associated with continued litigation.

    Barry University disputes the allegations in the lawsuit and denies any liability or wrongdoing, and there has been no finding of liability or wrongdoing by any Court. However, to support its students and to resolve the matter, Barry University entered into the Settlement.

  • If Barry University’s records reflect that you were actively enrolled in non-online classes for the Spring 2020 semester at Barry University as of March 1, 2020, your non-online classes had already begun, and you did not withdraw for a refund from Barry University, then you are a member of the Settlement Class and are entitled to receive Tuition Credits for future classes, a cash payment, or credit for outstanding balances due to Barry University. If you took classes exclusively online during the Spring 2020 semester or otherwise withdrew for a refund, you are not a member of the Settlement Class.

  • You have four options: (1) do nothing and you will be eligible to participate in the Settlement and receive the benefits allocated to you according to the terms of this Settlement; (2) complete an Election Form to select the benefits you will receive according to the terms of the Settlement; (3) exclude yourself from the Settlement; or (4) participate in the Settlement, but object to it.

  • There is no deadline to file anything to receive the benefits under the Settlement. However, if you wanted to choose between receiving Tuition Credits or a cash payment, you needed to make an election by visiting the Settlement Website at www.BarrySpring2020refund.com and submitting your choice no later than July 28, 2021. If you did not make a timely election and you are a Former Student (defined as an individual in the Settlement Class not enrolled at Barry University at the start of the Spring 2021 term), you will receive a cash payment by mail at the address on record at Barry University. If you are a Current Student (defined as any individual in the Settlement Class enrolled at Barry University at the start of the Spring 2021 term), Barry will provide you, in its discretion, with a Tuition Credit on your Barry account or a cash payment mailed to your address on file. Regardless of whether you elected to receive a Tuition Credit or a cash payment, if you have an outstanding balance with Barry University, Barry University has the option of first applying any payment due to you under the Settlement to the outstanding balance on your account with Barry University. All Settlement funds provided as Tuition Credits must be used by the start of the Fall 2023 semester or they will be forfeited.

    The deadline for sending a letter to exclude yourself from or opt-out of the Settlement was July 28, 2021. The deadline to file an objection with the Court was also July 28, 2021. The deadline to exclude yourself and to object have passed.

  • If you did not like the Settlement and you believed that you could have received more money by pursuing your claims on your own (with or without an attorney that you could hire) and you are comfortable with the risk that you might lose your case or get less than you would in this Settlement, then you may have wanted to opt-out.

    If you believed the Settlement is unreasonable, unfair, or inadequate and the Court should reject the Settlement, you could have objected to the Settlement terms. The Court will decide if your objection is valid. If the Court agrees, then the Settlement may not be approved. If your objection (and any other objection) is overruled, and the Settlement is approved, then you may still get Tuition Credits, a cash payment, and/or credit for an account balance and you will be bound by the Settlement.

  • The Court has to decide that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate before it will approve it. The Court already has decided to provide Preliminary Approval of the Settlement, which is why you received a Notice. The Court will make a final decision regarding the Settlement at a Final Approval Hearing, which is currently scheduled for August 27, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

  • Barry University has agreed to create a Settlement Fund of $2,400,000.

    Attorneys’ fees and litigation costs, and a Service Award, if approved by the Court, and the costs paid to a third-party Settlement Administrator, if any, will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. Thereafter, the Net Settlement Fund will be divided among all Settlement Class Members entitled to Settlement Class Member Benefits as outlined in the Settlement Agreement, which includes approximately 6,100 students.

  • Class Counsel will request the Court to approve attorneys’ fees of not more than 33.33% of the $2,400,000 Settlement Fund and will request that it be reimbursed for litigation costs incurred in prosecuting the case. The Court will decide the amount of the attorneys’ fees and costs based on a number of factors, including the risk associated with bringing the case on a contingency basis, the amount of time spent on the case, the amount of costs incurred to prosecute the case, the quality of the work, and the outcome of the case.

  • Class Counsel will request that the Class Representative, Ms. Rosado, be paid a “Service Award” in the amount of $5,000.00, which represents an award to Ms. Rosado for her work in connection with this case. The Service Award must be approved by the Court.

  • Barry University will decide whether self-administer or to retain a third-party Settlement Administrator to provide Notice and/or to administer the allocation and distribution of the Settlement Class Member Benefits. In the event Barry University retains a Settlement Administrator, those expenses are estimated to be $35,000.

  • The balance of the Settlement Fund after attorneys’ fees and litigation costs, the Service Award and the Settlement Administrator’s Costs, also known as the Net Settlement Fund, will be divided among all Settlement Class Members entitled to Settlement Class Member Benefits pro rata based upon the type of fees paid, except for tuition fees. The Settlement Class Member Benefit allocated to tuition will be calculated separately for Full-Time Students and Part-Time Students, which are specifically defined in the Settlement Agreement. Members of the Settlement Class who are defined as Full-Time students will receive a larger share of the portion of the settlement fund allocated towards tuition. The Settlement Class Member Benefits allocated to various fees will be divided pro rata based upon the type of fees paid. For example, the portion of the Settlement Class Member Benefit allocated under the Settlement to Room and Board Fees will be divided, pro rata, among all students who paid Room and Board Fees and received a move-out credit from Barry University in Spring 2020. The same is true of Health Fees, Lab and Materials Fees, and Other Fees. For more details on the Settlement Class Member Benefits and how it will be calculated, please see Paragraph 9 of the Settlement Agreement.

  • No. If Barry University’s records reflect that you were enrolled in non-online classes for the Spring 2020 semester at Barry University, and your enrollment remained active as of March 1, 2020 and you did not subsequently withdraw for a refund, you are entitled to receive a credit for outstanding balances, a cash payment, or Tuition Credits without having to submit a claim. However, you were asked to make an election if you wanted to choose between receiving a Tuition Credit or cash payment. To make the election, you must have visited the Settlement Website at www.BarrySpring2020refund.com and submitted your choice no later than July 28, 2021. The deadline to file an Election Form has passed.

    If you did not opt-out of the Settlement, which means that you chose to remain in the Settlement, and you either completed an Election Form to select your Settlement benefit, or you did not submit an Election Form but receive or are allocated a Settlement benefit, you will release all Released Claims against Barry University.

  • The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on August 27, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. to consider whether the Settlement should be approved. If the Court approves the Settlement, then Settlement Class Member Benefits will be distributed approximately 15 business days after the Settlement’s Effective Date. However, if someone objects to the Settlement, and the objection is sustained, then there may be no Settlement. Even if all objections are overruled and the Court approves the Settlement, an objector could appeal, and it might take months or even years to have the appeal resolved, which would delay any payment.

  • If you did not want to receive a credit for outstanding balances owed to Barry University, a cash payment, or a Tuition Credit, or if you want to keep any right you may have to sue Barry University for the claims alleged in this lawsuit, then you must have excluded yourself, or opted-out.

    To opt-out, you must have sent a letter to the Settlement Administrator that you want to be excluded. Your exclusion or opt-out request must have been postmarked by July 28, 2021. The deadline to exclude yourself has passed.

  • If you opted-out of the Settlement, you preserved and did not give up any of your rights to sue Barry University for the claims alleged in this case. However, you are not entitled to receive a credit for outstanding balances due to Barry University, a cash payment, or Tuition Credits from the settlement if the Settlement is otherwise approved by the Court.

  • You could have objected to the settlement or any part of it that you do not like IF you did not exclude yourself, or opt-out, from the Settlement. (Settlement Class members who exclude themselves from the Settlement have no right to object to how other Settlement Class members are treated.) To object, you must have sent a written document by mail or private courier (e.g., Federal Express) to the Clerk of Court, Settlement Administrator, Class Counsel, and Defendant’s Counsel.

    All objections must have been post-marked no later than July 28, 2021. The deadline to object to the Settlement has passed.

  • Objecting is telling the Court that you do not believe the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the Settlement Class, and asking the Court to reject it. You can object only if you do not opt-out of the Settlement. If you object to the Settlement and do not opt-out, then you are entitled to a credit for outstanding balances owed to Barry University, a cash payment, or Tuition Credits if the Settlement is approved, but you will release claims you might have against Barry University. Excluding yourself or opting-out is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement, and do not want to receive a credit for outstanding balances due to Barry University, a cash payment, or Tuition Credits, or release claims you might have against Barry University for the claims alleged in this lawsuit.

  • If the Court sustains your objection, or the objection of any other member of the Settlement Class, then there may be no Settlement. If you objected, but the Court overrules your objection and any other objection(s), then you will be part of the Settlement.

  • The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on August 27, 2021 at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Courthouse, 400 North Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida 33128. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may also decide how much to award Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs and the amount of the Service Award to the Class Representative. The hearing may be virtual, in which case the instructions to participate shall be posted on this website. The date and time of the Final Approval Hearing may change without further notice. Please check this website for updates.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You may attend if you desire to do so. If you have submitted an objection, then you may want to attend.

  • If you have objected, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must have included with your objection, the statement, “I hereby give notice that I intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing.”

  • The Court ordered that the lawyers and their law firms referred to in this notice as “Class Counsel” will represent you and the other Settlement Class Members.

  • Class Counsel will be paid directly from the Settlement Fund subject to court approval.

  • The Court will be asked to approve the amount of attorneys’ fees at the Final Approval Hearing. Class Counsel will file an application for attorneys’ fees and costs and will specify the amount being sought. You may review a physical copy of the fee application on the Important Documents page.

  • The Notice only summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are contained in the Settlement Agreement, which can be viewed or obtained on the Important Documents page.

    For more information, you also can contact the Class Counsel as follows:

    Jeff Ostrow
    Kopelowitz Ostrow P.A.
    One West Las Olas Blvd.
    Suite 500
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
    954-525-4100
    ostrow@kolawyers.com

    Anna Haac
    Tycko & Zavareei LLP
    1828 L Street, NW
    Suite 1000
    Washington, DC 20036
    202-973-0900
    ahaac@tzlegal.com

    Daniel Warshaw
    Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP
    15165 Ventura Blvd.
    Suite 4000
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    818-788-8300
    dwarshaw@pswlaw.com

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail
Barry Spring 2020 Refund Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91398
Seattle, WA 98111