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.