Le Cordon Bleu's Pasadena, California campus has settled a lawsuit with an alum and her father through private arbitration. According to LA Weekly, graduate Annie Berkowitz and her father Martin Berkowitz were awarded $217, 000. The full text of the suit reveals that Berkowitz sought reimbursement for being "fraudulently induced to attend Respondent's culinary school," having been led to believe she would "easily pay off the loans they were encouraged to take out" while making "$75,000 per year to start" as a pastry chef. Oops.
According to Pasadena Now, the settlement covers: "Damages for tuition paid, earnings lost while she attended the school, damages for lost opportunity for the months she unsuccessfully sought employment as a pastry chef after graduation from, damages for emotional distress and attorneys' fees."
A spokesperson for Le Cordon Bleu told LA Weekly they plan to challenge the award and that they "never misrepresented potential career outcomes to our students." According to the school, Berkowitz and her father signed "multiple documents affirming that no representations of any kind were made to her regarding salaries or job outcomes." Which kind of makes you wonder what happened to all of those documents?
This isn't the first time a culinary school has settled with disgruntled, underemployed alums who felt they were ripped off by the high price tag of their tuition. In 2011, San Francisco's California Culinary Academy gave $20,000 to each student involved in a similar lawsuit. Here's the LCB settlement:
· Student Wins Settlement in Lawsuit Against Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena [LAW]
· Award of Arbitrator [Courtroom Warrior]
· All Culinary School Coverage on Eater [-E-]