06/29/23 | Class Certified
A King County judge overseeing a class-action lawsuit against the University of Washington certified a class of student tuition and fee-payers accusing UW of unlawfully retaining those payments, amounting to millions of dollars, during the COVID-19 campus closures and provision of limited, distance-only online learning. More information about the lawsuit will be issued to students in the near future. Read the order »

Are you paying tuition and other fees at University of Washington while closed due to COVID-19? Parents, guardians and college students deserve payback in light of the outbreak of novel coronavirus. Fill out the form to find out your rights »

Case Status
Practice Areas
Superior Court of Washington in and for King County
University of Washington
William S. Ayer
Jes Benoliel
Joanne Harrell
Jeremy Jaech
Libby Macphee
Constance Rice
Rogelio Riojas
Blaine Tamaki
Davi Zeek
Ana Mari Cauce
File Date


The complaint reads, “Despite sending students home, transitioning to online instruction, and closing its campuses, University of Washington continued to charge for tuition and/or fees as if nothing changed, continuing to reap the financial benefit of millions of dollars from students.”

The grad student bringing the lawsuit states that he paid UW for “opportunities and services that he did not receive, including on-campus education, facilities, services, and activities.”

“With the University of Washington’s effective campus closure, cancellation of campus events, suspension of many campus services and programs, and transition to exclusively online instruction starting in the Winter Quarter 2020 and continuing in the Spring Quarter 2020 and beyond…Plaintiff lost access to the on-campus instruction, opportunities, facilities, and services for which Plaintiff had bargained for by selecting—and paying tuition and fees for—in-person courses and experiences,” according to the lawsuit.


Hagens Berman is investigating continuing lawsuits that would seek reimbursement for parents and guardians of college students, or college students paying their own tuition and other expenses at colleges and universities across the nation. Our investigation is not limited to those already named in litigation. We want to fight for the rights of those who have been charged for fees and tuition at a college or university, but have been forced to relocate due to the outbreak of COVID-19, with no reimbursement. Hagens Berman believes that institutions of higher learning have no right to keep the fees and tuition charges given the coronavirus outbreak and lack of options to students. We think parents and guardians, and college students paying fees and board deserve compensation. 


Hagens Berman is one of the most successful consumer litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements for consumers in lawsuits against food corporations, automakers, big banks and others. The firm has successfully taken on higher learning institutions as well, achieving hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for students and alumnae to support campus safety and students' rights. Hagens Berman has achieved many record breaking victories in antitrust matters, and your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in consumer law.


There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this case. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class' legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.


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