United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
TENESHA ADAMS, Individually and on behalf of those Similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
ANTONELLI COLLEGE, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (Doc. 36) AND TERMINATING THIS CASE IN THIS
Timothy S. Black United States District Judge.
civil case is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment on the claims of Plaintiff Tenesha Adams
(Doc. 36) and the Counterclaim filed by Antonelli (Doc. 34)
as well as the parties' responsive memoranda (Docs. 40,
Adams commenced this lawsuit, which alleges that Defendants
engaged in deceptive and misleading marketing and advertising
practices. Ms. Adams is a former student in Antonelli's
Practical Nursing Program (“PNP”). Ms.
Adams's claims, which are asserted on behalf of herself
and a putative class, are premised on her contention that
Defendants misrepresented facts about the PNP, including its
quality and approval from the Ohio Board of Nursing
(“OBN”) and failed to provide adequate
these bases, the Complaint asserts claims for violation of
the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“ODTPA”),
breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and
response, Antonelli filed a Counterclaim which alleges that
Ms. Adams is liable for unpaid tuition and costs and asserts
claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
September, 2013, Antonelli opened the PNP. (Doc. 36-1 at
¶ 23; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 23). The PNP had previously
been granted “conditional approval” by the OBN on
November 15, 2012. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 24; Doc. 40-1 at
November, 2014, the OBN entered into a consent agreement
(“Consent Agreement”) with Antonelli that
extended the conditional approval status of the PNP until
November, 2015. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 25; Doc. 40-1 at ¶
25). During these “conditional approval” phases,
Antonelli was allowed to enroll and graduate students and its
graduates were eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and to
become licensed practical nurses in the State of Ohio. (Doc.
36-1 at ¶ 26; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 26).
Ms. Adams enrolls in the PNP.
Adams enrolled in the PNP in or around November, 2014. (Doc.
36-1 at ¶ 1; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 1). Ms. Adams signed
certain documents and disclosures pertaining to her
enrollment that are of consequence to this litigation. (Doc.
36-1 at ¶ 2; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 2).
Adams executed an enrollment agreement (“Enrollment
Agreement”) in which she agreed to pay tuition and fees
in exchange for educational services provided by Antonelli.
(Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 10; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 10; Doc. 36-3).
Adams executed a Policies and Procedures disclosure whereby
she certified that she had received a copy of the current
Antonelli Catalog (“College Catalog”). (Doc. 36-1
at ¶ 28; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 28; Doc. 36-13). The
College Catalog expressly stated that the PNP was
“conditionally approved” by the OBN:
Antonelli College Practical Nursing Program was granted
Conditional Approval by the Ohio Board of Nursing.
Conditional Approval is the initial approval status granted
to a new nursing education program that meets and maintains
the requirements of Chapter 4723-5, Ohio Administrative Code,
and is necessary for the implementation of the program.
Graduates of the Practical Nursing Program are eligible to
sit for the NCLEX-PN and apply for licensure as a Licensed
Practical Nurse (LPN) in the State of Ohio.
(Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 29; Doc. 36-12 at 6).
Adams signed a Financial Aid Application in which she
certified to Antonelli that she would “be responsible
for a balance due in cash that is not paid by federal, state
or agency assistance.” (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 11; Doc.
40-1 at ¶ 11; Doc. 36-8 at 2).
for her tuition, Ms. Adams received Federal Student Aid,
including Pell Grants, Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized
Loans, as well as cash payments. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 12;
Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 12).
to her Student Statement, Ms. Adams has a balance due for
unpaid tuition that was not covered by grants, loans, or cash
payments to Antonelli of $1, 832.00. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 14;
Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 14; Doc. 36-9).
Adams also participated in the Antonelli College Loan Program
(“ACLP”). (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 13). Under the ACLP,
Ms. Adams entered into two Master Promissory Notes
(“MPNs”) with Antonelli on November 7, 2014, and
August 3, 2015, respectively. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 15; Doc.
40-1 at ¶ 15; Doc. 36-10). Under the MPNs, Ms. Adams
agreed to repay the loan amounts disbursed thereunder, plus
interest and other charges and fees due under the MPNs. (Doc.
36-1 at ¶ 16; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 16; Doc. 36-10). In
total, $718 was disbursed under the MPNs. (Doc. 36-1 at
¶ 17; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 17).
agreed to repay the principal and interest on the ACLP loans
to Antonelli beginning 180 days after her separation from the
college. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 18; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 18;
Doc. 36-10). Ms. Adams' last day of attendance at
Antonelli was October 22, 2015. (Doc.36-1 at ¶ 19; Doc.
40-1 at ¶ 19). Accordingly, her repayments came due on
April 19, 2016. (Doc. 36 at ¶ 20; Doc. 40-1 at ¶
20). Under the terms of the MPNs, Antonelli, at its option,
can declare loans in default and demand immediate payment of
the entire balance, including principal, interest, and
collection costs if scheduled payments are not made when due.
(Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 21; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 21; Doc. 36-10).
In total, Ms. Adams owes Antonelli $718 plus interest for her
unpaid ACLP balance and $1, 832 for unpaid tuition. (Doc.
36-1 at ¶ 22).
Ms. Adams departs the PNP after failing a course.
Adams began classes at the PNP in January, 2015. (Doc. 36-1
at ¶ 3; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 3).
Adams's last day in the PNP was October 22, 2015. (Doc.
36-4). On October 23, 2015, Ms. Adams was informed that she
failed a course (Nursing II). (Adams Dep. at
36:13-20). When Defendants informed Ms. Adams she
would have to re-take the course, she chose not to re-enroll.
(Id. at 40:20-42:17).
her departure from the PNP, Ms. Barnette filed a complaint
with the OBN. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 5; Doc. 36-5). Antonelli
was given the opportunity to respond and provide supporting
documentation. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 6; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 6;
Doc. 36-6). On January 15, 2016, the OBN advised Antonelli
that, based on its review of the materials submitted,
“the Rules of 4723-5, OAC, were met.” (Doc. 36-1
at ¶ 7; Doc. 40-1 at ¶ 7; Doc. 36-7).
March, 2016, Ms. Adams filed a complaint with the Ohio
Attorney General's Office. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 8; Doc.
40-1 at ¶ 8). Besides an initial communication, Ms.
Adams has never heard anything further from the Attorney
General's Office. (Doc. 36-1 at ¶ 9; Doc. 40-1 at
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for summary judgment should be granted if the evidence
submitted to the court demonstrates that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact, and that the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 247-48 (1986). The moving party has the burden of
showing the absence of genuine disputes over facts which,
under the substantive law governing the issue, might affect
the outcome of the action. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.
All facts and inferences must be construed in a light most
favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
opposing a motion for summary judgment “may not rest
upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . .
. must set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248 (1986).
Ms. Adams does not have standing to assert the ODTA
One of the Complaint alleges that Defendants violated the
ODTPA by making deceptive, false and misleading statements
concerning the PNP. (Doc. 2 at ¶¶ 52-60). Count One
alleges that Defendants misrepresented the PNP and failed to
advise enrollees that it had entered into the Consent
Agreement and that the State of Ohio could revoke its
approval for the PNP if certain deficiencies were not
argue Ms. Adams does not have standing to pursue this claim
because she is an individual consumer and has not suffered a
commercial injury. (Doc. 40 at 8-10). The Court agrees.
the ODTPA, a person engages in an unlawful “deceptive
trade practice” when, in the course of the person's
business, vocation, or occupation, he or she, inter
(7) represents that goods or services have sponsorship,
approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or
quantities that they do not have, or that a person has a
sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection
that the person does not have;
(9) represents that goods or services are of a particular
standard, quality, or grade, or that the goods are of a
particular style ...