On June 4, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the District Court’s decision that all criminal justice students are entitled to make a claim for restitution.
At the time of their closure, the Minnesota School of Business (MSB) and Globe University (“Globe”) had operated campuses across the state for more than 140 years, offering specialized training programs in 30 different fields. From 2009 to 2016 alone, the Schools had more than 14,000 graduates working in a variety of industries around the state.
In 2014, however, Minnesota’s Attorney General, Lori Swanson, sued MSB and Globe, claiming they misled students. After a month long bench trial in April 2016, the District Court ruled against the Attorney General on all but one category of operations. For the remaining category – the Schools’ criminal justice program – the District Court ordered a complicated restitution process for almost 1200 students.
Anthony Ostlund represented Globe and MSB through the litigation, the month long bench trial, and on appeal. “In Minnesota, to recover damages on a consumer fraud claim, a plaintiff must prove causal nexus. Period.” explained Brooke Anthony, who represented the Schools during the 2016 trial. “The District Court did not have evidence of causal nexus and admitted as much when it acknowledged that it had no evidence of how many students had been harmed.”
The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the District Court’s determination of causal nexus for all 1200 criminal justice students and awarded restitution for only those students that testified.
“The tragedy here is that the Minnesota Attorney General was not willing to work with this long-standing Minnesota business to protect students and employees,” said Anthony, “Globe and MSB educated tens of thousands of students and provided needed, college educated, workers for a number of industries throughout this state. Attorney General Swanson could have worked with the Schools to remedy any issues that she believed existed. She chose instead to take a case to trial when she did not have sufficient evidence and as a result, forced the Schools’ closure, tarnished the degrees of tens of thousands of alumni and caused the loss of hundreds of jobs.”
As a result of the District Court’s determination, the Schools lost their state registration and federal Title IV funding. MSB and Globe graduated their last student in September 2017.
For Fox 9 News report.