WHEELING – Two campuses for West Virginia Business College have been closed amid a class action lawsuit filed by former graduates after the school lost its accreditation.
The two campuses — Nutter Fort and Wheeling — were closed and an e-mail was sent to returning students on July 10 stating that due to declining enrollment, both campuses would be closed effective that day.
The e-mail comes less than one week after a circuit judge issued a stay that stopped the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education from closing the school as of June 30.
The stay allowed the business college to continue to recruit students despite losing its accreditation in April.
Because there was a very small number of returning students from the quarter, it was not financially possible to continue to remain open, according to the e-mail.
The lawsuit was filed in June. President John A. Tarr and Vice President Teddy Tarr were also named as defendants.
In April, WVBC lost its accreditation when it was revoked by the Council for Community and Technical College Education, according to a complaint filed in Harrison Circuit Court.
Katlynn Flemings, Rebecca Wolfe and Terri McGinnis claim on June 7, a group of approximately 100 students graduated from the school with unaccredited degrees.
The following day, council members of the Community and Technical College Education voted unanimously revoke the business permit of WVBC effective June 30, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants were assuring the plaintiffs and the class members that WVBC was and is in sound shape.
The defendants’ actions violated the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants also breached their contract and were negligent.
The defendants also breached their duty of good faith and fair dealing, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants committed fraud by failing to timely notify the students of the accreditation issues and of its uncertain status.
The defendants have been unjustly enriched at the plaintiffs’ expense, as it continued to advise the plaintiffs and class members that the program was in sound shape, according to the suit. As a direct result of the defendants material misrepresentations, the defendants realized a financial benefit by preventing current and enrolling students the opportunity to make an informed decision prior to enrolling with the school and by collecting tuition and fees from the plaintiffs and the class.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Charles R. “Rusty” Webb of the Webb Law Centre.