Update: Class members’ brief filed in consumer fraud case against Career Ed Corp and Western Culinary Institute

On our long-running consumer fraud class action against Career Education Corp and Western Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu Portland, I am pleased to report that we filed our answering brief in the Oregon Court of Appeals today. It’s a monster, and if the WordPress Gods are with me, it appears in PDF here: Brief – Answering FINAL

My dear friend and colleague, Maureen Leonard, joined our team to handle the briefing. The brief is her work, and it is a thing of beauty.

About the brief:

For consumers and class members-This is a technical brief on rules about procedure, appeals, and arbitration that might cause you to snooze. The gist is that Career Education Corp. was content to use the court system to enforce its rights and then when things were going bad, CEC sought to delay by filing another motion to compel arbitration.

For attorneys-The posture is such that this is something of a one-off brief and case. Still, if you want to see an appellate master at work, read Maureen’s work.

So next up is CEC/WCI/LCB-Portland reply brief. And then it is on to oral argument in front of a three-judge panel. We’ll keep you posted, of course.

David Sugerman

56 thoughts on “Update: Class members’ brief filed in consumer fraud case against Career Ed Corp and Western Culinary Institute

  1. I signed some paper work in a law suit against the WCI i graduated in 2008 and never heard any more! i would still like to be part of the suit nad need help! i still have not found a stable job and am still in need of help!

    thank you!
    Kendra Mathison

  2. Hi Kendra-
    Sending you a private email. It appears that you are a class member. Please stay in touch!

    David

  3. Hi David,
    I just read a few comments about sallie mae suing WCI students for non payment. I am in this lawsuit with the WCI part, I have been in it for a while and wanting to hear anything going on about it. I still dont have a job for what i went to school for and that school loan is getting outrageous and still cant pay for it. I at one time was getting notices from sallie mae and I tried talking to them explaining that I cant get a job for what i went to school for and cant afford the payments they require, so they were going to send me to collections and it got bad, I had no choice but to go back to school so i didnt have to make payments. But i’m going to school for something completely different now, i have no choice, WCI has ruined me, and Sallie Mae has ruined my credit. Any Word on the lawsuit?

    Thanks

    Danielle

  4. David,
    The latest update from you on the appeal, #A152137, was about 3 months ago when you filed your answering brief. What has happened since? — e.g., WCI’s reply filed and, if so, can you post it? Oral argument set and, if so, can you post when and where? Thanking you in anticipation of an update– Larry Wick, parent of WCI class member Andy Wick

  5. There is a growing trend among big businesses like banks etc., to include a clause in their customer agreements about relinquishing the right to participate in class action lawsuits. This is a despicable response to the growing list of successful class actions against banks and credit card issuers in particular, not to mention very sneaky, since most people don’t read all the fine print carefully, and even those who do think there is no alternative but to roll over and accept the terms as is. So is it do-able to make any sort of class action to make it unlawful for businesses to forbid participation in class actions? Similar to the clause in warranties…”…may not apply in certain states where such exclusions are prohibited by law…” ??

  6. David,
    Anything happen on the appeal in the WCI class action, #A152137, since you filed the answering brief? Did WCI file a reply ? — if so, can you post it? When do you expect oral argument to be set ? Thanking you in advance for an update–

  7. So nothing new to report on the WCI appeal. No argument scheduled as of yet. The Oregon Court of Appeals is a painfully slow place….
    -David

  8. Mr. Sugerman,

    I had been in contact with you previously about this case, I attended WCI 2005/06 and on my original 12K loan from sallie mae am currently in excess of 58K and only able to make minimal payments which do not even cover interest. Sallie mae are hounds and will call 5-6 times a day. I would like to know if I am part of this law suite or if I have any other options available in the way of legal standing. thank you for your time.

  9. Chris-
    We don’t give advice through the comments. Feel free to contact us by phone or email for suggestions.

  10. David (& team),
    Thank you for your hard work and dedication on this case. I received a notice about the case several years ago but have heard nothing since – how can I make sure I am part of the suit? Thank you!

  11. Christine-Looks like I may have missed your comment. We have been working non-stop on the BP case. If you have not done so, please check in with my office at 503.228.6474 for an update. Thanks for your patience. -David

  12. Hello, I have just read about the WCI consumer fraud case . I also graduated in Oct. of 1993 and still find myself in a situation where my accreditation has failed to bring me any more meaningful employment than if I were to attempt to set out in the culinary field without it. I would like to become part of the law suit if possible. thank you for your time.

  13. We’re scheduled for oral argument in front of the Oregon Court of Appeals on May 9, 2014. Unfortunately, there is no set schedule for how long it will take them to decide the appeal and issue their decision.

  14. I had to be graduated in 2007, however the WCC Citrus Heights CA forced me to quit, so I went to look for another Ultrasound College and got in more trouble since that college was no accredited either. The Sally May round my credit history my family get to have our personal tax withholding every year. The WCC discriminated several student in my class by race and nationality. I need help.

  15. I had to be graduated in 2007, however the WCC Citrus Heights CA forced me to quit, so I went to look for another Ultrasound College and got in more trouble since that college was no accredited either. The Sally May round my credit history my family get to have our personal tax withholding every year. The WCC discriminated several student in my class by race and nationality. I need help.
    Thank you,
    Juliya

  16. Sallie Mae has split into two different companies. My loans, and I’m assuming a lot of other people’s student loans are now with Navient. They are continually harassing me with phone calls, sometimes 3 times a day. I make payments towards my loan on the 17th of every month. Now since they switched who is handling the payments, they keep telling me i haven’t paid since August. I’m not sure how long this is going to go on for. Considering that the validity of these loans are in question. Is there anything I should do? Even though I attempted before to submit the letter you drafted regarding my loans under litigation to Sallie Mae, should I send the same letter to Navient?

  17. We are hearing about Navient from others as well. Yes, send the letter. If Navient sues, please let us know. Immediately.

    David

  18. Hi Kendra-The Court of Appeals has not ruled. That is not unusual. They have many cases ahead of ours.

  19. I graduated WCI in October of 2004 I believe. Am I included in this lawsuit. I owe 60k and it is increasingly difficult to make the minimum payment.

  20. I began attending WCI/LCB in 2009. I received a letter a few years ago indicating my inclusion in the class, but have moved several times since that letter and am not sure how to ensure that my contact information is up-to-date. While I’m sure a decision is still pending, I would like to remain informed going forward. What’s the best way to update my address?

  21. Hi Alma-
    Thanks for your note. You can always update your information by email david@davidsugerman.com or by phoning us at 503.228.6474. Also, we post updates on our Facebook page, so if you use FB, you can track is there.

  22. I was wondering if we had an update. In a previous comment someone had sent a letter to Sallie Mae about their loan being in litigation. I now have Navient how would i go about getting a letter sent to them?
    What is the FB page i would like to add it.

  23. Hi Savanah-We are still waiting for the Oregon Court of Appeals to rule. You could let Navient know about this lawsuit in which we claim that the school defrauded you. If Navient sues in collection, please let me know. Here is the Facebook link

  24. Navient informed me that if I did not make payments that it would be sent to collections. Someone I know is currently being sued for collections by Wells Fargo lawyers in relation to Western Culinary loans incurred after March ’06. What would you suggest we say to these giant companies that use fear to gain an edge?

  25. Hi Michael-
    If you will call my office, I can make a referral. I’m not in a position to advise you on collection issues. We can be reached at 503.228.6474.

    Thanks-
    -David

  26. Hi David,

    I have read back through the comments. Recently a friend of mine(both of us went to WCI in 2007) wondered what was happening, if there was anyway of knowing where we stood. We both remember signing something or somehow being a part of this legitimate case, but it’s been a while. Please advise me, so I can advise them. I too have received something from Navient.

    Best,
    Rose

  27. Hi Rose- The case is still going on. We are still tied up in the Oregon Court of Appeals. Still working.
    -David

  28. It would depend on when you signed your enrollment agreement and when you started. Suggest you call our office at 503.228.6474 so that we can get additional information and answer your questions.
    -David

  29. Hi Zach-Sorry, but this got hung up in our spam filter. We’ve finally cleared the Court of Appeals and will be moving back to the trial court. Once the file transfers, we will be requesting a trial date.

  30. Hi David, and thanks as always for not only your work on the case but in posting about the process as it comes.
    What does it mean “back to the trial court?” Is this the final step, or will there be another round of appeals from CEC?
    I finally have my tuition(s) under control but my credit has been absolutely ruined as a result of this. I am pretty sure I am not alone in that regard.
    Thanks again for everything!

  31. Hi Ken- “Back to the trial court” is shorthand for on to the next step. It means trial, which is really a day of reckoning. But trial is not always the end. If we get a good and fair result at trial, CEC could appeal. As well, it is possible that the case could settle, though that will only happen if CEC gets serious about what is at stake here. Thanks for your patience. Hang in there.
    -David

  32. Hello again David!
    Anything new you can share with us?
    Haven’t heard anything in awhile, and curiosity has reared its pretty head again.
    Thanks, as always!

  33. Greetings David
    My name is Andrew and i was a student from 2006 – 2008, i recently came across your site and was curious to see what is going on now. I havent heard much contact from any of this lawsuite only the card i kept advising i was apart of this and would periodically would call to check up. I know there is announcement of the LE Cordon Bleu school closing down in 2017 which was formly Western Culinary instituite. I am in a fight with Navient for the repayment of the loan and wondering if i have to advise them of this lawsuite. Thank you for working on this case David

  34. Hi Andrew-The case is still going. We are scheduled for trial in April. Please call our office at 503.228.6474 so that we can get updated information.

  35. Ken-Apparently I missed this comment. The case is still going on. We’re scheduled for trial in April. Please call our office so that we can get updated info. 503.228.6474.

  36. Hi Jennifer-Yes. Could you please call our office at 503.228.6474 so that we can get updated information? Also, please note that if you use Facebook, follow us here for more updates.
    -David

  37. Can you at least briefly comment on the implications of WCI in Portland closing down in 2017, particularly if it happens before the case goes to trial in April?

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