July 28, 2021

Suit against Caribbean nursing school proceeds

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first_department_courthouseBy Ben Bedell, From New York Law Journal

The Appellate Division, First Department, at 27 Madison Ave. NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

Seventeen former nursing students, mostly from New York City, can proceed with a breach of contract suit against a Caribbean nursing school for falsely claiming the students would be eligible to complete their studies at Bronx’s Lehman College, the Appellate Division, First Department, ruled Thursday.

A unanimous panel held in Jeffers v. American University of Antigua, 153386/12 that while fraud and negligent misrepresentation had to be dismissed, summary judgment on the contract claim was premature.

“Promises set forth in a school’s bulletins, circulars, and handbooks, which are material to the student’s relationship with the school, can establish the existence of an implied contract,” the panel said, quoting its own ruling in Cheves v. Trustees of Columbia Univ., 89 AD3d 463 (1st Dept 2011), lv denied 18 NY3d 807 (2012).

The ruling modified Justice Joan Madden’s March 2014 opinion allowing all of the claims.

The students claim they matriculated based on representations that graduates would be qualified to take the National Council License Examination for Registered Nurses and upon passing, could enroll directly into Lehman College’s one-year program and graduate with a nursing degree, according to the opinion.

But because the school had not been approved by New York state authorities, they were unable to take the exam.

“My clients were out not only the tuition, room and board, and travel expenses,” said attorney Jamie Andrew Schreck, “but also what they could be earning had the representations been true.”

The panel included Justices Angela Mazzarelli (See Profile), John Sweeny Jr. (See Profile), Richard Andrias (See Profile), Karla Moskowitz (See Profile) and Rosalyn Richter (See Profile).

IMAGE: The American University of Antigua was represented by J. Christopher Jensen, partner at Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman.

For more on this story go to: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202717327880/Suit-Against-Caribbean-Nursing-School-Proceeds#ixzz3RGubR8Ev


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