Shuttered Connecticut nursing program faces lawsuit from 8 former students

Eight students from a now-shuttered nursing program at Stone Academy in West Haven, Conn., filed a class action lawsuit May 3 against the institution claiming it violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by misrepresenting the institutions' standing until its last day of operation. 

The for-profit healthcare college abruptly shut down in February after reports from the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Office of Higher Education found it was operating with "unqualified faculty, invalid student clinical experiences," according to a Feb. 14 press release from the state's health department.

The students' complaint spans 36 pages and cites similar issues at the core of its case including that Stone Academy allegedly hired unqualified staff. Specifically it claims that the institution continued to market itself as a place for professional healthcare training even though its leadership team was reportedly aware that 1 in 5 faculty were unqualified, according to court documents.

"Up until its last date of operation Stone Academy passed itself off as a reputable, viable and well established nursing school, all the while disregarding the instructions and warnings of State regulators concerning its substandard programs," the complaint states. "Stone Academy's abrupt closure upended the lives of the hundreds of enrolled practical nursing students who paid tens-of-thousands of dollars to pursue their degrees to become Licensed Practical Nurses."

Attorneys for Stone Academy and its executives told NBC Connecticut in a May 3 statement that they do not agree with the complaint and its "characterization of the quality of Stone students' education and the circumstances of the school's closure." 

Many students who were enrolled at Stone Academy, even if they received a degree and passed their licensure exams, are being asked to retake clinical courses to continue to work as an LPN, which interrupts their ability to earn income in some cases, the complaint states.

The students named in the lawsuit are seeking financial compensation for their time and money spent. The outcome of the lawsuit would also provide this to any student who was enrolled at Stone Academy between 2018 and the date of its closure, NBC Connecticut reported.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong requested the court's help May 11 with enforcing Stone Academy’s cooperation in an ongoing investigation into possible violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The press release states that Stone Academy has only partially complied with the state's investigation.

Further court dates regarding the lawsuit have not been set and the separate state investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars