A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit brought by three former Mount Ida College students against former school president Barry Brown and the now-shuttered school’s board of directors.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns threw out the case on May 24, siding with Mount Ida and its former executives who argued they did not violate the students’ privacy or commit a breach of contract as they navigated through the school’s controversial closure and sale of assets to UMass Amherst in 2018.
Three students had sued, alleging that the defendants failed to inform them of Mount Ida’s dire financial predicament and shared their academic and financial profiles with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth without their consent.
Mount Ida partnered with UMass Dartmouth to help some students continue their education in their chosen field of study after Mount Ida closed.
The students laid out seven claims in total, including breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive practices.
“President Brown is gratified with Judge Stearns’ decision, which follows Attorney General Maura Healey’s decision not to bring any legal action against anyone based upon the closing the College,” said Howard Cooper, a Boston lawyer with Todd & Weld and Brown’s legal counsel. “These decisions confirm that the closure of Mount Ida was done in an ethical and legally appropriate manner even though it was an extremely difficult event for the entire Mount Ida community. Sometimes the best and good faith efforts of people are just not enough.