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New Jersey Court Grants Class Certification And Clears Suit For Trial In Consumer Fraud Act Case Against For-Profit School Star

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Camden, NJ; May 28, 2014 (Press Release)Today Camden County Superior Court Judge Anthony M. Pugliese granted Class Certification in a case brought by a graduate of for-profit school Star Career Academy’s Surgical Technology Program, and in a separate ruling cleared the case for trial.

The case, brought under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, alleges that Star concealed, suppressed, and failed to disclose material information that more than 1000 Star Surgical Technology Program applicants, students, and graduates were entitled to have before, during, and after they decided to enroll and pay to participate in the Program - including the effect of a law that significantly impacted the continuing viability of Star’s ST program. The law, signed by Governor Christie in December 2011 to regulate the practice of surgical technology in New Jersey, provides that surgical technologists must have graduated from an accredited ST program, earned a nationally certified ST credential, or received specialized ST training in the military.

Polanco alleges that Star violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by failing to inform her and other students that Industry leaders agree that Star’s ST program in surgical technology did not have the specialized accreditation required by the new law. Polanco also claims that Star failed to inform its students and prospective students that industry professionals like hospitals, the Association of Surgical Technology, the NCCT - a credentialing organization for ST and other vocational colleges - were interpreting the law to mean that surgical technology programs like the one offered by Star were no longer valid in New Jersey.

“This kind of corporate irresponsibility is exactly why New Jersey has a Consumer Fraud Act in the first place,” said GPEFF’s Thomas More Marrone, who with Pat Pierce represents the Class. “The Class Members are honest, hard-working people who were just trying to improve their own lives while also improving the lives of others. They needed somebody to fight for them.”

Added Pat Pierce, “the class members spent thousands of dollars and a year of their lives, sacrificed income and time with family and friends, just so they could have a real career in healthcare. Instead, the diploma they got from Star is virtually worthless. Star knew it might be worthless but took their money anyway. It is a privilege to prosecute this case.”

Now that Class Certification has been granted, Court-approved notices will go out to over a thousand class members who attended Star during the class period informing them of the lawsuit, and the case will proceed to trial. If the case is successful, each class member will be eligible to recover tuition and other money Star obtained as a result of its alleged consumer fraud. In addition, the Consumer Fraud Act provides for treble damages, litigation costs, interest, and attorney’s fees.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I attended star tech in Egg Harbor nj back in 2011 for surgical tech they applied for student loans on my name and am still owing thousands of dollars

Posted by

on
I attended Star Career Academy in 2009 graduated and right after i had surgery and notified them of my surgery before i finished the course and didn't receive anything, i called and went down to the school for answers and got the run around and lied too repeatedly, i pray that we all be reimbursed for the time we took out of our lifes to improve our futures, only to be lied to, used and misguided

Posted by

on
I'M A SURGICAL TECH STUDENT. AM I PART OF THIS LAW SUIT SETTLEMENT? I am currently attending STAR CAREER ACADEMY in Clifton Nj

Posted by

on
I went to star and I graduated 2012 and I couldn't get a job or even sit for the test because I found out that they have lied about being accredited and there not and its not fair I took all the time to do this course and I have a diploma that is useless to me why would they take advantage of us like this we r trying to make our lives better and they ruined it.I need to be add to the law suit

Posted by

on
I went to star and I graduated 2012 and I couldn't get a job or even sit for the test because I found out that they have lied about being accredited and there not and its not fair I took all the time to do this course and I have a diploma that is useless to me why would they take advantage of us like this we r trying to make our lives better and they ruined it.I need to be add to the law suit

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