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Judge Delays Final Approval of a $5.4M Settlement Against The George Washington University

Concerns over the allocation of a $5.4 million settlement prompted a federal judge on Tuesday to delay final approval of a class-action settlement against GW until May.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon pushed back a final decision about a class-action settlement between the University and a group of students and parents who alleged GW violated contracts by failing to refund students who took online classes in spring 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to delay the final settlement decision came after Benjamin Heidloff and Matthew West, current GW Law students, objected to the settlement’s terms regarding attorney fees and plaintiff rewards during the hearing.

A parent filed the lawsuit against GW in May 2020, alleging that the University breached its contract by not partially refunding students who took online classes after officials made classes virtual in March 2020. After a D.C. District Court judge dismissed the case in March 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit revived the lawsuit in March 2022.


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