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Settlement OK’d for ex-Mountain State students

Register-Herald file photo West Virginia University will certainly fill a huge void after the city lost Mountain State University a few years ago. City officials have cited MSU’s closing, as well as a downturn in the coal industry, as the major reasons for the city’s recent financial struggles.
Register-Herald file photo
West Virginia University will certainly fill a huge void after the city lost Mountain State University a few years ago. City officials have cited MSU’s closing, as well as a downturn in the coal industry, as the major reasons for the city’s recent financial struggles.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Mountain State University students could start receiving their piece of the pie as early as March, after a three-judge mass litigation panel approved the settlement at a final hearing Thursday.

 “This is the most complex, most complicated settlement I’ve ever been involved in,” Judge Alan Moats said.

“Once MSU lost that accreditation, everything fell apart. All the pieces came undone, and you all had to try to put something back together.”

Beckley attorney Steve New said he and his clients are relieved that this four-year process is finally drawing to a close.

New said disbursement funds will include $8.5 million from United Educators, $8 million from West Virginia University for the sale of the MSU Beckley campus and $2 million from Viking Way Holdings LLC for the Martinsburg campus (pending any unforeseen roadblocks), and possibly some additional monies from the U.S. Department of Education for reimbursement for student loans that MSU had advanced.

Attorneys’ fees and costs will be taken first, then the money will be awarded to plaintiffs on a points-based scale, with nursing students receiving the highest priority…

 

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