The Trump University lawsuit settlement has been approved by Judge Gonzola Curiel in the amount of $25 million. Approximately 4,000 students who filed claims are expected to receive around 90 percent of their money back thanks to the decision. The original settlement had been agreed upon back in November 2016 but required court approval to be considered official.
Judge Curiel stated, “The settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable,” providing clarification regarding his decision to approve the $25 million settlement.
Trump University was formed in 2005 to teach students techniques for investing in real estate with the promise of riches, just like those attained by Trump himself.
Advertisements for Trump University stated that Trump personally selected the instructors. However, he did not remember any of the instructors during a deposition related to the lawsuit.
The one-year program, labeled as an “apprenticeship,” cost $1,495 based on the information provided in court documents. However, “membership” required a minimum $10,000 contribution by students, and “Gold Elite,” the most expensive class available, was $35,000.
The Trump University program closed in 2010. During that same year, the New York Department of Education directed Trump University to cease operations due to the lack of a license.
The settlement brought together multiple cases against Trump University including three lawsuits filed by former students: two federal class-action lawsuits filed in San Diego, and one brought forward by the New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman.
Only one former student, Sherri B. Simpson, opposed the approval of the settlement. As reported by CNN, Simpson believes she could receive a larger sum if the case went to trial. She says she spent approximately $20,000 on courses through Trump University in 2010.
The objection was dismissed by Judge Curiel. He said, “That only one procedurally valid objection was filed…is indicative of the fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness of the Settlement.”
Originally, Trump stated he had no intention of settling, as demonstrated by this tweet from February 29, 2016.