CCNH Class Action Suit Filed
CCNH case certified a class action.....and settled.

Quote:In November 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham, seeking recoveries on behalf of thousands of adults enrolled in prepaid distance education programs at Clayton College of Natural Health, Inc. The lawsuit comes in the wake of CCNH’s announcement in July 2010 that it was suddenly closing the school and its distance education programs after more than 20 years
of operation.

The lawsuit alleges that at the time of the closing, CCNH had already collected tens of millions of dollars in tuition from Plaintiffs and a class of similarly situated persons for programs that CCNH summarily stopped providing. After the abrupt termination of its distance education programs, CCNH failed to refund tuition, according to the lawsuit.

On November 15, 2011, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama certified this case as a class action and granted preliminary approval of a settlement in the case. The settlement, reached through negotiations with a mediator, will create a settlement fund from which claimants can seek compensation, among other benefits. A formal Class Notice from the Court regarding the settlement has been mailed. For a copy of the Class Notice, click here, for a copy of the Claim Form, click here.

Class Counsel for the former students are Thomas H. Howlett and Dean M. Googasian of The Googasian Firm, P.C., who may be contacted by calling 1-877-540-8333, or by clicking here or sending an e-mail to Joining The Googasian Firm in pursuit of the lawsuit as local counsel is the Birmingham, Alabama-based law firm, Quinn, Connor, Weaver, Davies & Rouco, LLC.

According to the lawsuit, CCNH marketed its programs as affording students the ability to learn and pursue degree and certificate programs with flexibility as to the time within which they were completed. In its 2008 catalog, CCNH stated that, “At CCNH, the self-paced programs are designed to fit your schedule, so that any part of the day becomes study time and assignments may be submitted at your convenience. In order to help you organize your studies and ‘stay on track,’ degree programs are divided into phases. Although you must complete the phases of your program sequentially, there is no requirement that you take every course in the order it appears in the phase. It is our expectation that you will complete all phases of each individual degree program within five years. At CCNH, you enroll, study, and progress on your schedule, not ours.” But the sudden closure of CCNH precludes these students from completing the distance education programs for which they had paid and devoted considerable time and effort, the lawsuit alleges.

If you have a concern about experiences with CCNH or Magnolia, click here to share these concerns.

The lawsuit asserts breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and other claims, and seeks compensation for the tuition amounts paid for programs that are no longer available and for Plaintiffs’ loss of time and opportunity, among other damages. A copy of the lawsuit can be found by clicking here.
"...the accreditation process was its downfall." (page 16 of the Final Order).

Quote:Court Grants Final Approval to Settlement

On May 25, 2012, United States Magistrate Judge Harwell G. Davis, III issued a final order granting final approval to the settlement reached in Goldberg v. Clayton College of Natural Health, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-02990-HGD. Judge Davis ruled that the settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable. The settlement creates a $2.31 million Settlement Fund and provides for claimants to receive tuition discounts and credit transfer opportunities at two other natural health schools. A copy of the Court’s 43-page opinion can be reviewed here.

In light of the Court’s entry of the final order, the Court-appointed Claims Administrator, Garden City Group, is now making final calculations and determinations with regard to 5,261 claimants who submitted claims to the Claims Administrator that the Court has ruled may be entitled to benefits. Pursuant to the Court’s final order, claimants may receive distributions from a fund totaling $1,552,136.86, following Court-approved payment of attorney fees and costs. A method for calculating distributions was approved by the Court and is set forth on pages 7 and 8 of the Class Notice, which can be reviewed here.

Garden City Group currently anticipates completing its calculations and determinations by June 30, 2012, and mailing checks to claimants soon thereafter.

Questions with regard to the remaining claims process can be directed to Garden City Group at (888) 714-2544. This website will also be periodically updated.

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