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Court Rules in Favor of Students Alleging They Were Misled by Caltech, Simplilearn’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp

April 12, 2024

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Court Rules in Favor of Students Alleging They Were Misled by Caltech, Simplilearn’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp

The class-action lawsuit argues Caltech and Simplilearn falsely promoted the bootcamp as a Caltech institutional program, but failed to disclose it was entirely run by Simplilearn, the online program management provider

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled yesterday that a class-action lawsuit against California Institute of Technology and Simplilearn Americas, Inc. can proceed, after overruling Defendants’ demurrer to Plaintiff’s second amended complaint.

On July 20, 2023, Student Defense and Altshuler Berzon LLP filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of named class representative Elva Lopez, against Caltech and Simplilearn, a for-profit online bootcamp provider, for misleadingly advertising the school’s online cybersecurity bootcamp. The complaint alleges that Caltech and Simplilearn — as well as Fullstack, another for-profit online program provider acquired by Simplilearn in November 2022 — have misrepresented to prospective students that the cybersecurity bootcamp is a Caltech program even though the course is fully outsourced to Simplilearn and before that Fullstack.

Defendants’ demurrer to those claims was overruled. The Court rejected Defendants’ arguments that a student considering enrollment in the bootcamp would not reasonably believe that Caltech supplies the educational content – “After all, why else would an educational or training program utilize an educational institution’s name, logo, and website unless the institution had some substantial connection with the program.”

“Students like Ms. Lopez trusted Caltech to deliver the education it offered her, not outsource it. This is an important step in vindicating that belief,” said Student Defense Litigation Director Eric Rothschild. 

The lawsuit seeks actual and punitive damages for the named plaintiff and all similarly situated students, along with programmatic changes to protect students. 

A full copy of the filing can be found on the Student Defense website.