I-TEAM: Dental student files lawsuit against OSU to get refund for fees spent on clinical studies

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has found yet another college student suing to get money back after the campus shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last month, we showed you a student who took similar court action against the University of Toledo. This time a suit has been filed against Ohio State University.

The new case involves Morgan McDermott, a dental student going into her fourth year. She says she can’t get valuable time working in a dental clinic at OSU because of the coronavirus and can’t afford to lose the money she spent on fees for clinical studies.

She said those fees top $1,600, so she filed legal action for a refund.

“The dental program is the most expensive on campus. It’s a lot of money. I’m well into 6-figures in debt,” said McDermott. “I’m not asking for full tuition back. Not trying to be irrational. I just want my clinic fees back.”

“The University has not refunded clinic fees for the spring or summer,” said Tom Merriman of Merriman Legal.

*Read more about the impact of the coronavirus on Ohio, here.*

Merriman filed a class-action lawsuit against Ohio State University. He also filed the suit against the University of Toledo.

He says there is no question about shutting down the campuses to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But, he said students like Morgan can’t just walk away having paid money for nothing.

“I think this is really important for students like Morgan to make sure people are getting what they  deserve in terms of refunds,” he said.

The lawsuit mentions that Ohio State University did refund some money for room and board and other fees. And when the I-TEAM contacted the school, a spokesman pointed that out. Otherwise, he said OSU has no comment with the lawsuit pending over the dental clinic fees.

*See more investigative stories from the I-TEAM, here.*

The University of Toledo also is not commenting on its lawsuit.

McDermott said she wants to get back in the lab learning about dentistry instead of spending time fighting her university in court.

“It might seem small to them but its big to me. I could really use the money,” she said.

Both lawsuits were filed with the Court of Claims in Columbus, and they are just beginning to move through the legal process.

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