Daymar College is being sued by students who say that the college made promises to them it did not keep. A class action lawsuit filed by Paducah attorney Mark Bryant and a Louisville law firm alleges that the college violated Kentucky’s antitrust and consumer protection laws. Bryant is listed as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the state by the American Trial Lawyers Association. He’s also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates forum according to the Bryant Law Center website. Membership is limited to trial lawyers who have gotten a verdict, settlement or award of a million dollars or more.
Daymar College has campuses in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois-
"Daymar College has conveniently located campuses in Albany, Bowling Green, Clinton, Louisville East, Louisville South, Madisonville, Bellevue, Owensboro, Paducah, Russellville and Scottsville, Kentucky; in Chillicothe, Jackson, Lancaster and New Boston, Ohio; and Rockport, Indiana." (see map below). www.daymarcollege.edu
Past and present students say the school forced them to buy textbooks at exorbitant prices. They allege the instruction was below standard using outdated equipment. Assistance in placement in their field didn't happen. Students could not transfer credits to other colleges and universities.
And they are left with mountains of debt. Students borrowed thousands of dollars to pay fees and buy books. In some cases, graduates returned to the same low paying jobs they had before enrolling in Daymar. Bryanat told Paducah’s Channel 6 News Monday evening that some students borrowed $50,000 to attend the school.
Daymar’s website says:
“If you're seeking a successful future, Daymar College can help you get there. We provide you with career-specific education programs that can prepare you for an exciting new job. If you've always dreamed of getting the great future, success and security that entering an in-demand career can give you, enroll at Daymar College now. You can go further … faster at Daymar College. We offer several top fields of study such as Medical, Massage Therapy, Business, Computers, Legal and more! Daymar College graduates can feel confident in their education as they embark upon the career world.
Daymar is accredited by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). That accreditation expires December 31, 2010.
The parties appeared before Judge Tim Kaltenbach in McCracken Circuit Court for a hearing to decide whether students could be compelled into arbitration. One of the provisions for admission is an arbitration clause that calls for student and school to submit to arbitration to settle a dispute. The clause calls for the parties to equally divide the cost of arbitration. The Court found that that the typical arbitrator charges from $300 to $350 hourly. Arbitration costs can run as high as $10,000 for a three to four day arbitration. Arbitration can also be as inexpensive as $125.
The Court found that the plaintiffs borrowed between $17,000 and $35,000 to attend Daymar. Each of the plaintiffs "holds low paying jobs or is unemployed." Ability to pay the arbitrator is an issue under Kentucky law. The school offered to pay all of the arbitrator's fee, providing that if the student loses the arbitration, they would be required to reimburse the school for the costs. The Court rejected the offer. The Court found that the registration process in total took ninety minutes. The arbitration clause on the bottom of the back of the registration form was not pointed out to the student or explained. Students who came to Daymar with a GED or high school diploma would not have understood the implications of an arbitration clause without explanation.
Four plaintiffs were found to be able to afford arbitration. The others would be allowed to continue with the lawsuit.