Plaintiffs and Mills College Agree to $1.25 Million Settlement with Former Students

News & Events
Press Release
Plaintiffs and Mills College Agree to $1.25 Million Settlement with Former Students

Plaintiffs and Mills College Agree to $1.25 Million Settlement with Former Students

Oakland, California, November 7, 2023 — Plaintiffs’ law firms Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. and Nichols Kaster, LLP announced today that the Alameda County Superior Court has granted preliminary approval to Plaintiffs’ agreement with Defendants Mills College and Northeastern University, in which Defendants will pay $1.25 million to settle an alleged class action consumer protection lawsuit that covers approximately 408 students. Plaintiffs claim Mills College made misrepresentations to them regarding the College’s merger with Northeastern University after 170 years as an independent women’s college in Oakland. While Mills College and Northeastern do not believe that Plaintiffs’ claims have merit and deny all allegations made, the institutions have concluded that settlement is in the best interest of the Parties to avoid the time and expenses of drawn-out litigation.

Plaintiffs claimed they faced great hardships arising from the unfortunate closure of Mills College as a separate institution, but Mills and Northeastern maintain they worked with each and every affected student to achieve the best possible result for them despite the difficult situation. With this settlement, Plaintiffs hope to offset some of the increased educational costs they claim they incurred, and Defendants hope to move forward peaceably with providing quality education to students at Mills at Northeastern University without the continuing distractions of the claims and allegations in the lawsuit.

The Agreement between the parties was reached after more than ten months of negotiations, and it settles the lawsuit, Cordrey et al. v. Mills College et al., Case No. 22-CV-011159, filed on May 11, 2022, in the Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, California.

The settlement received approval from Hon. Brad Seligman, who found the “proposed settlement to be ‘within the realistic range of outcomes of the litigation.’” After notice is sent to the 408 members of the class, a final fairness hearing will be conducted on March 12, 2024.

Plaintiffs: Named Plaintiffs Willa Cordrey, Jenny Varner, Clara MacKenzie, Joya Saxena, and Savannah McCoy were all students enrolled with Mills College pursuing either an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree but claim they were unable to complete their degrees prior to Mills’ closure.

Next Steps: If the settlement thereafter receives final approval, a third-party administrator will distribute settlement amounts based on an objective formula to each qualifying class member. More information will be available here: www.MCSettlement.com

Statement on the Settlement:

Plaintiffs’ counsel Bryan Schwartz, the founder of Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C., stated, “We are glad that we are able to get some relief for students who came to us for help after so much unexpected turmoil, to help them move on with the next chapters of their promising educational trajectories and careers.”

Plaintiffs’ counsel Matthew Helland of Nichols Kaster, LLP, added: “This case gave voice to students who believe they were wronged. We hope this settlement allows students to leave these issues in the past and focus on their futures.”

Plaintiff Jenny Varner added: “I am proud of the work that all the plaintiffs and our amazing legal team put in on behalf of the Mills student body.”

Information about Plaintiffs’ Counsel:

Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C.: Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. is an Oakland-based firm that obtains social justice in class, collective, and individual actions, often challenging discrimination, wage/hour violations, and whistleblower retaliation. The firm practices in state and federal trial and appeals courts, in arbitration, and before a variety of administrative agencies. The firm’s principal is past Chair of the 7,500+ State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section (now affiliated with the California Lawyers Association), and on the Boards of Directors of Legal Aid at Work, and the Foundation for Advocacy, Inclusion and Resources (FAIR).

Contact Information

Email: bryan@bryanschwartzlaw.com

Phone: 510-444-9300

Website: https://www.bryanschwartzlaw.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanschwartzlaw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bryanschwartzlaw

Nichols Kaster, LLP: For more than forty-five years, Nichols Kaster has enjoyed a sterling reputation as a top employment and consumer plaintiffs’ litigation firm. With over 35 lawyers in its Minneapolis and San Francisco offices, the firm has represented hundreds of thousands of employees and consumers nationwide on a variety of legal issues arising under both state and federal laws. The National Trial Lawyers and ALM have named Nichols Kaster the Employment Rights Law Firm of The Year, and U.S. News & World Reports has named Nichols Kaster a Best Law Firm and its lawyers as Best Lawyers, consecutively since 2012. Together the National Law Journal and law.com named Nichols Kaster a top 50 firm for Elite Trial Lawyers “that are doing the most creative and substantial work on the plaintiffs side.”

Contact Information

Email: helland@nka.com

Phone: 415-277-7235

Website: www.nka.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/nicholskaster

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicholsKaster

Share this post

Looking For
Help With Your
Workplace Concerns?

Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. is also one of the few Bay Area-based law firms with extensive experience representing Federal employees in their unique Merit Systems Protection Board and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints.

Meet Our Award
Winning Team

What Our Clients
Say About Us

Contact Us*

Submit an inquiry to have Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. evaluate your situation.

*Your submission of an intake request form does not guarantee that Bryan Schwartz Law, P.C. will take your case or provide legal advice. You must be offered and sign a representation agreement with the firm before you will receive any legal advice.