A Canisius student has filed a class action lawsuit against the school over the cost of tuition and fees during the coronavirus pandemic.
Plaintiff Caleb McCudden alleges that there was a breach of contract when Canisius transitioned to online classes last March, according to court documents filed in August. The lawsuit claims Canisius failed to provide the services that were part of mandatory payments, such as in-person classes.
McCudden is seeking a prorated portion of Canisius’ tuition and mandatory fees for himself and fellow students, which would be proportionate to the amount of time in each semester when the college transitioned to online classes.
The lawsuit states that Canisius provided a “materially deficient” and “insufficient alternative” for in-person instruction, thus breaching the contract between the college and students since these promised services were not provided.
In response to these complaints filed by McCudden, the defendants claim that in-person instruction was moved online to protect the health and wellness of the campus as well as to adhere to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s actions.
“Despite the occurrence of an unprecedented global pandemic and the substantial operational effort and expense involved, Canisius remained committed to delivering a quality education to its students, and quickly pivoted to remote instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester,” according to additional documents.
During March of last year, Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York, which ordered that all college campuses close and shift to remote instruction.
McCudden is represented by Michael Tompkins, Anthony Alesandro and Brett Cohen from Leeds Brown Law, P.C. Canisius is represented by Hayley Dryer and James Ryan of Cullen and Dykman, LLP.
State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wojtaszek has been assigned this case.