LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A group of 40 students represented by Attorneys Michael E. Reznick and Jan Del Toro, yesterday filed a class action lawsuit in excess of $30 million against The Chicago School of Psychology (TCS) alleging that they invested in a useless education after the management of the school lured them to Los Angeles and falsely assured them that the new LA campus was accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
When caught by their web of deceit, Defendants told the students that APA accreditation was "not an issue" and assured them that "the school would be APA accredited by the time that they graduated."
The petitioners claim that the management of TCS used falsehoods to attract them to the school's new facilities in Los Angeles, California in 2008, that they provided them false information and made false representations in the course of their program regarding the accreditation of the school by the APA. The petitioners were led to believe that APA approval would be obtained before their graduation.
The lawsuit is equivocal: "The petitioners were led to believe that the Los Angeles institution was similar to the one in Chicago… with the more clement weather being the difference. At no time did the Los Angeles school have or come close to having this accreditation, unlike the Chicago campus that has been accredited since 1987. Deceit and fraud have been the modus operandi of the management of TCS over all these years" declared Mr. Michael E. Reznick, attorney for the petitioners.
APA accreditation, without which the doctorate degree in Psychology has no value on the job market, had been presented to the students as having been obtained or in the process of being obtained by the management of the California school throughout the duration of their studies. Only toward the end of their studies did the petitioners learn that not only did the school not have this accreditation, but had still not submitted its application for accreditation to the APA as late as June 27, 2011.
Whenever students discussed the school's accreditation with the president or an official of the Los Angeles campus, on the phone and during information meetings, the information received was deceptive. During the first phone call, the rector led them to believe that the school was accredited. During several meetings, Mrs Michelle Nealon-Woods (who was then the dean of the Los Angeles campus and who is now the president) and the faculty official, Dr. David Sitzer, confirmed that the accreditation would be ready before they obtain their degrees.
In June 2012, the petitioners received a letter from Dr. Sitzer informing them that the school was not and would not be accredited in the near future.
"APA accreditation is a determining factor for students. The APA is the largest scientific and professional organization that represents the field of psychology in the United States. Many employers, including the American federal government, state or local governments and hospitals do not hire anyone whose degree is not obtained from an APA-accredited institution. My degree is worthless, all these years and money are lost. I have to start all over if I want to live my dream. I don't know how I will be able to do that", declared Mrs Shagun Sheena Sachdev, one of the students involved in the class action.
This deceit has entailed substantial moving costs and tuition fees in addition to huge student debts only to obtain a worthless doctorate degree in Psychology that is not recognized by the APA. These students are now facing an uncertain career and substantial loss of income and professional opportunities, in additional to untold psychological distress for having been wilfully misled and deceived.
The lawsuit thus seeks redress for the students in excess of $30 million and claims punitive damages for the conduct of the defendants claiming that it was intentional, fraudulent, malicious and oppressive.
A copy of the original procedure (Case NO. BC 495518) may be found at : http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/civilCaseSummary/
SOURCE ENIGMA COMMUNICATIONS INC.