The Real Deal Miami

Judge plans to let plaintiff in Trump University suit withdraw

Case may go to trial while presidential candidate is campaigning

March 24, 2016 11:15AM

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Donald Trump (Credit: Donald Trump campaign)

From the New York website: There is a real possibility that one of the three lawsuits against Trump University may go to trial while the Donald is campaigning for the nation’s highest office.

A San Diego, Calif., judge on Tuesday said that Tarla Makaeff, who has been the lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit filed in 2010, may withdraw if another student agrees to be deposed again by Trump’s lawyers in the next three weeks, Bloomberg reported.

Trump’s lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to postpone the trial until after the election, but this ruling means the case may go to trial during the campaign, Bloomberg reported.

Attorneys for Makaeff say she was traumatized by Trump’s litigation tactics while Trump’s lawyers say much of their case is built on her statements, according to Bloomberg.

The former students sued in 2010, alleging they were duped into paying $35,000 to attend the online school with real estate seminars promising “one-on-one mentorship, practical and fail-safe real estate techniques.”

This is one of three lawsuits filed against Trump University. In 2013, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also sued Trump for $40 million over the university claiming it operated as an unlicensed educational institution that conned students into believing they would gain real estate investing expertise. There is another class-action lawsuit also pending in San Diego, Bloomberg reported.

Accusations that the university misled students has dogged the Republican frontrunner throughout the campaign. Trump counters with claims of 98 percent satisfaction among students.

A number of students say they were pressured into giving good scores and positive evaluations, the New York Times reported earlier this month. [Bloomberg]Dusica Sue Malesevic