SAN DIEGO – A federal judge is expected to give the final approval in the Trump University class-action lawsuit, which settled for $25 million last November.
Former students of Trump University filed the suit, claiming now-President Donald Trump committed fraud when he promised to use “hand-picked” instructors to teach success in real estate through a program that cost up to $35,000.
Clarification: The judge plans to release his official decision in writing on Friday.
“This is a case I’ve worked on for four years. This is a case that has been fiercely litigated and we all know very few class-actions go to trial,” the judge said Thursday.
A San Diego federal judge took under submission Thursday objections by two people to finalize the $25 million settlement of three class- action lawsuits in the Trump University case.
The case was tentatively settled Nov. 18, just days after now-President Donald Trump won election to the White House.
Since that time, two people from Florida have objected to finalization of the agreement, saying they weren’t given any opportunity to opt out of the settlement as promised.
In the lawsuits, which Trump had vowed never to settle, former students of Trump University alleged that he committed fraud in promising to use “hand- picked” instructors to teach success in real estate through a program that cost up to $35,000.
Attorney Gary Friedman of New York, who represents class member Sherri D. Simpson of Florida, said Simpson was fleeced out of $20,000 by the Trump University real estate program and wants her day in court.
Even though attorneys for the plaintiffs said some of the 7,000 class members could get back as much as 90 cents on the dollar, Friedman said Simpson still wants a guilty verdict against Trump, who admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
“She (Simpson) was upset that it settled and she didn’t get an apology from Trump,” said Patrick Coughlin, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
Another plaintiff attorney, Jason Forge, said Simpson filed her objection despite already putting in a claim to get money back.
Forge told reporters that if an appeal is filed, the settlement could be held up for two years.
“If he (Judge Gonzalo Curiel) does rule in her favor, nobody’s going to be getting any money any time soon,” Forge said.
During the court hearing, Curiel said he thought the settlement was “fair and reasonable.”
About 4,000 class members have submitted claims to be included in the settlement, the judge said.