Coleman Law Firm Announce Final Approval of Nationwide Class Action Settlement in Student Inauguration Case
Washington, DC (June 9, 2010) – District of Columbia Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has granted final approval to a nationwide class action settlement in Radosti v. Envision EMI, LLC (the nationwide settlement incompasses the first case brought on behalf of the students in an Illinois Federal Court filed by the Coleman Law Firm, captioned Vera Bowman, et al. v. Congressional Youth Leadership Council and Envision EMI, LLC) providing up to $17 million in tuition vouchers to student class members.
Over 15,000 students paid approximately $2,500 in tuition costs to attend one of Envision’s youth conferences in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009. Due to the historic nature of the inauguration itself and the numerous student attendees, many in the program alleged that they did not receive everything that Envision had promised, including exclusive access to witness the inauguration, and inaugural parade and tickets to attend an official inaugural ball. Plaintiffs filed separate class actions suits in Washington, D.C. (filed by Hausfeld LLP) that were eventually consolidated in Washington. After an extensive mediation in front of the Honorable Daniel Weinstein (retired) the parties reached a settlement and sought approval from the court.
The settlement provides any class members dissatisfied with the conferences – including those living in foreign countries – with two, fully transferrable vouchers (worth $1,250) that can be redeemed towards any future Envision program. Envision offers numerous educational programs for youth across the country and during the 7-year redemption period will host approximately 2,450 conferences for 340,000 students.
In approving the settlement, Judge Kollar-Kotelly rejected the arguments of 22 State Attorney Generals who objected to the settlement as unfair holding that “the vouchers to be awarded under the settlement provide meaningful value to class members because of their high face value, their transferability, and their seven-year duration.” She also found that the settlement provided a minimum payout which encompassed the profit that Envision had made on the conferences.