Culinary school alums sue school for misrepresentation

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

When entering into a contract, most people assume that both parties are operating in good faith and accurately describing the likely benefits to be expected from their performance. Unfortunately, in some cases, when parties enter into a business contract one party may seek to oversell the potential benefits that the other side will receive.

Recently, students of the for-profit culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu, filed a lawsuit claiming that the school’s recruiters misled them about the value of the education that they would receive. The school has a campus in Miami as well as 15 other locations.

The class action lawsuit alleges that, among other things, the school misrepresented its job placement rates. When graduates finished the program with hefty student loans they expected that their success at landing a well paying job would be similar to how it had been described by the recruiters. Unfortunately for many, the school’s program did not turn out to be as valuable as they had originally believed.

The company has already entered into a potential settlement agreement for one lawsuit. If approved, the pending settlement would provide a rebate of up to $20,000 to 8,500 students who took classes between 2003 and 2008.

According to news reports, the school’s website indicates that 48 to 100 percent of graduates find work in their chosen culinary discipline. But critics counter that this placement rate is deceptive because many of those are minimum wage jobs that do not require formal education.

Source: Associated Press “Culinary school grads claim they were ripped off,” Terence Chea, Sept. 4, 2011