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Inaugural Conference CaseRadosti, et al. v. Envision EMI LLC, et al. June 2010
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 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, DC during the January 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama. Due to the unprecedented nature of the inauguration itself and the numerous program attendees, many students alleged that they did not receive everything that Envision had promised, including exclusive access to witness the inauguration and inaugural parade or tickets to an inaugural ball.
In May 2009, Hausfeld LLP, along with DiMuroGinsberg PC, jointly filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the students who had paid to attend the conferences. A separate class action against Envision, filed in Illinois, was eventually consolidated with the Hausfeld suit in Washington. After an extensive mediation in front of the Honorable Daniel Weinstein (retired) of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, 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 transferable vouchers (worth $1,250) that can be redeemed towards any future Envision program. The vouchers can be used for up to seven years. Envision offers numerous educational programs for youth across the country and during the 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.
James Pizzirusso, a partner at Hausfeld LLP and one of the Class Counsel, stated, “This is a significant settlement providing vouchers worth approximately 50% of each class members’ tuition costs. While Envision did not have the resources available to provide direct refunds, we believe that this settlement puts significant value into the hands of consumers.”
“We are pleased that the court has approved this settlement and we encourage all class members to make claims. Even if class members do not want to use the vouchers themselves, they can be sold to any of the thousands of students who will attend a future program during the redemption period.”
Class members can obtain more information at: www.dc2009-settlement.com/.
Practice Areas: Consumer Protection
» Students Upset Over Inauguration Settle for $17 Million
» Hausfeld LLP Files Class Action Lawsuit Over Inauguration Scam
» Lawsuit Filed for 15,000 Students Who Paid To Attend Obama Inauguration but Didn't Get In
» Students Launch Suit Over Inauguration Letdown
Related Press Releases
» Complaint, May 13, 2009
» Order Preliminarily Approving Class Action Settlement Agreement, Conditionally Certifying Settlement Class and Approving Class Action Notice Plan, December 17, 2009 (PDF)
» Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement (PDF)
» Class Action Settlement Approval Opinion (PDF)