What is this lawsuit about?
A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit between Defendant Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (“Defendant” or “Rutgers”) and certain individuals who have alleged that they, and the Settlement Class Members, are entitled to pro rata refunds of on-campus tuition, fees, and other charges for the Spring 2020 Semester because Rutgers transitioned to remote learning in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with New Jersey State mandates. The case is Rocchio, et al. v. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Dkt. No. MID-L-003039-20, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County (the “Action”). The proposed Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by Rutgers, and Rutgers denies that it violated the law. The Court dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims in the Action and the parties reached this settlement to resolve the plaintiffs’ appeal from that dismissal. The Court has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and has conditionally certified the Settlement Class for purposes of settlement only.
How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you paid Defendant Spring 2020 Semester fees of any type or amount. But, you are not a Settlement Class Member if you already received refunds for your Spring 2020 fees or if you opt out of the Settlement.
What does the Settlement provide?
After the Effective Date of the Settlement Agreement, Rutgers will pay a total of $5 million. Some of that will go to Plaintiffs’ counsel for attorneys’ fees and will pay for the costs of administering the settlement. What remains of the $5 million will be divided equally among the roughly 59,500 Settlement Class Members. Settlement Class Members will not need take any action to receive their shares of the payment. Active Students will automatically receive their shares as a credit to the next tuition/fee bill issued after the settlement becomes final. Inactive Students will automatically receive their shares by check mailed to the Settlement Class Member’s last known mailing address (or, if they prefer to receive their share by Venmo or PayPal, they may visit the Election Form Page to provide their Venmo or Paypal information). Settlement Class Members also may opt to donate their share of the settlement to the Rutgers COVID-19 Dean of Students Emergency Fund.