Sanford Brown class action on hold; suit at appellate court

Amelia Flood Mar. 17, 2011, 8:27am


There has been no action in a class action brought against the Collinsville campus of Sanford Brown Colleges by former students who claim that the school did not deliver on promises about their degree and future career path.

The last action in the suit brought by Jenna and Jessica Lilley on behalf of just over 2,000 students at the school's Collinsville site was Feb. 11.

That action was an order by the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon that granted Sanford Brown and its parent company, Career Education Corporation, leave to appeal.

It denied them the leave to file a reply.

Sanford Brown is fighting class certification granted to the Lilley class in December 2010 by then-Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

Stack certified the class on claims that the colleges violated the Illinois Private Business and Vocational Schools Act.

The judge had previously thrown out fraud counts contained in the Lilley complaint.

The plaintiffs claim they and other students were misled about the value of a medical assistant's degree from the school, how it would transfer to traditional colleges and what careers it would lead to.

Sanford Brown had argued that the plaintiffs were attempting to argue "educational malpractice," an issue not covered by Illinois law and that their complaints lacked causation.

Plaintiffs counsel John Carey had argued that the school had given the class members "a worthless piece of paper," in hearings leading up to the class certification order.

The suit is one of several that have been filed against Sanford Brown in recent years.

The St. Louis firm of Carey & Danis LLC and the Klamann Law Firm of Kansas City are designated as class counsel in the order.

The Klamann firm has played a role in several similar individual suits against Sanford Brown in Missouri.

James Monafo, John Richmond and others represent Sanford Brown and Career Education Corp.

Stack retired last year.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge now presides.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-113.

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