A Florida woman is seeking to opt out of a $25 million class action settlement over fraud allegations at Trump University and take President Trump to trial.
In a court filing Monday in federal court in San Diego, Calif., Sherri B. Simpson said she doesn’t want to settle for less than the 100 percent she paid for Trump U. courses.
Each defendant in the settlement is guarantee 50 percent of the fees they paid for what they claim were sham Trump U. classes.
Simpson, of Fort Lauderdale, wants 100 percent.
Lawyers for other class action defendants worry that if Simpson is allowed to opt out and go to trial, it could unfairly delay payments to their clients.
“The primary basis for this objection is that the settlement deprives me of my constitutionally protected right to opt of out the class,” Simpson said.
Simpson said she was deceived and defrauded by the Trump U..
She said she attended a free Trump University seminar in Florida in April 2010.
“I was told repeatedly at that program that, if I further enrolled in the Trump University Gold Elite mentorship program, the resources of Donald Trump and his real estate organization… would be made available to me, “ Simpson said.
“I was told I would learn the `secrets’ of Trump’s real estate investing success, studying under professionals that Trump himself had personally `hand-picked’ to deliver `Ivy League quality’ instruction at his `university. I was promised that the mentor would be available to me for a full year.
After the three-day seminar, she enrolled in the pricey Gold Elite program.
“The Gold Elite program was a scam,” Simpson said.
Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel has given preliminary approval to the settlement in January. Trump agreed to settle in November, ten days after winning the presidency.
A final approval hearing is scheduled for March 30, which Simpson and her attorney, Gary Friedman intend to plead her case.
Other parties to the case said Simpson has an uphill climb to sever herself from the class settlement.
“Anyone who chose to give up their individual claim and remain in the class will be rewarded for doing so under the terms of what is an historically beneficial settlement.
Any attempt to delay the payment of this settlement cannot be motivated by what is in the best interests of the class. As promised, class members had the opportunity to exclude themselves from the settlement. Anyone who chose to submit a claim obviously wanted to be included — and for good reason,” said class action lawyer Jason Forge.
But Simpson’s attorney, argued that the class action notice promised to plaintiffs a “new opportunity” to opt out.
“What Ms. Simpson seeks is her day in court, at which she will press for the complete vindication of all her rights, including her full damages plus punitive damages and injunctive relief,” Friedman in a legal memo to the court.