And Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the state of New York for violating state education laws…
Under the terms, $21 million will be spread among the plaintiffs in the San Diego cases and $4 million will go to the New York case. The plaintiffs’ attorneys agreed to waive their fees and work pro bono, maximizing the amount the students could recover.
“The attorneys won’t be making money on this case. All will go to the students,” said San Diego plaintiffs attorney Jason Forge.
The 7,000 or so eligible members in the class-action suits should be able to recover at least 55% — and possibly 100% — of the money they spent on Trump University, Forge said.
Some students had paid up to $35,000 on “elite” memberships that offered a year of mentorship and said they were encouraged to max out credit cards to pay for the instruction.
“Students will be very pleased to be able to pay their credit card bills and move on with their lives,” said plaintiffs attorney Rachel Jensen.
One of those students was Sonny Low — a 74-year-old named plaintiff from Chula Vista representing California class members in the lawsuit that was to go to trial Nov. 28. He has been paying off a $9,000 credit card debt from Trump University and now will be able to recover that money, said one of his attorneys, Patrick Coughlin.
The law firm Zeldes, Haeggquist & Eck, which helped represent the plaintiffs, said in a statement Friday that it was “incredibly painful” to end the legal battle now.
“We stand behind their claims 100%,” the firm said, “but there is always risk in taking a case to trial and that was particularly so here, when the defendant was poised to be the next president of the United States.”