California  |  Education Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/13/13, 5:25 pm

Can I sue my college for negligence?

I was ready to start this fall semester in Los Angeles, when I found out only 13 days prior (9/13) I may not be able to attend because the university neglected to ever inform me that I was no given housing.

When asked why I was never informed through email or mailed, the phone rep said they'd been having problems with their email. They didn't even bother to call me. Then they directed me to a craigslist link among others as their off-campus housing solution.

Really, a "craigslist" link is their go-to solution.

They won't refund the full deposit I've already paid, without taking a substantial chunk of it as a "fee."

I may have to withdraw from this entire semester because of their negligence.

I'm calling them to try to get answers and help from someone knowledgeable, other than a disinterested student working the phone, but they say "you're on your own" and treat me like I was the one who did something wrong.

The Director of Housing was called by the UAAC (Advisement) on my behalf and he denies his staff were unable to help me, that it was "out of ordinary" that I was never contacted, and that I should speak to a student again to answer my questions.

I did, asked the student to speak to him and he refused.

They said someone else would call me back today and she hasn't.

They were fully available to take my money, but not around once they have it.

It's not right, they've pulled out the lynch pin of this whole semester, and now I fear my future commission as a US Marine Corps Officer is at stake because I may not be able to attend my training this summer, which is contingent on my completing junior year.

I understand the university may have not "breached any legal obligations" with me, but still, here I am, no call or email, no housing, left robbed and severely disadvantaged many years into the future. I don't want to let them get away with stuff like this.

They're not even *trying* to help, they're just denying everything and transferring me to different people who refuse to speak to me.

They've taken my money and left me to drown; I've slipped through a crack that wasn't even supposed to be there.

It's disgraceful that this is the playbook of the Californian public college educational system.

Plan of action?

2 Answers


Answered on: 9/13/13, 6:05 pm by Andrew Harrell

It would be useful to take a look at the housing contract that you originally signed, particularly since you paid a fee to reserve housing. It is likely that the university breach this contract and likely were negligent since they had a duty to inform you of the housing problem when it occurred. You have an obligation to mitigate the breach by finding alternative housing. The university would be required to pay the difference between the cost of the university housing versus what you need to pay to attend school It's actually a simple situation.


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W. Andrew Harrell, Attorney at Law 250 Pacific Ave., Suite 407 Long Beach, CA 90802

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Answered on: 9/15/13, 10:09 pm by John Laurie

In addition to the above you should make your best efforts to find housing. Dont let this reuin your education


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Gertz and Laurie 18321 Ventura Boulevard Suite 900 Tarzana, CA 91356

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