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Ex-Trump University student wants to take president to court

Sherri Simpson is opting out of a $25 million settlement.
Donald Trump announces the establishment of Trump University on May 23, 2005, in New Getty Images

A former Trump University student wants to opt out of a$25 million class action settlement for the opportunity to take the for-profit school's namesake founder, President Donald Trump, to court.

Lawyers for Sherri Simpson asked a federal judge on Monday to reject the postelection settlement, which she cannot currently do unless other students are given the chance to be excluded from the deal, according to multiple media reports.

The lawsuit, settled tentatively in November, pays 50 cents on the dollar for what students paid to attend real estate training seminars under the president's name from 2005 to 2010.

Simpson's lawyers argue that a notice sent in 2015 to class action participants gave the impression that students could later opt out of the settlement, but the actual agreement didn't include that opportunity.

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According to Politico, 13 former students have previously opted out of class action lawsuits, and could seek individual suits against Trump.

"If the settlement indeed represents 50 cents on the dollar of loss, as has been reported, it is certainly a beneficial settlement by the standards of class actions," Simpson’s lawyer, Gary Friedman, wrote in the objection filed to San Diego District Judge Gonzalo Curiel on Monday.

"But there is no principle of law or fairness that requires Sherri Simpson to accept 50 cents on the dollar. What Ms. Simpson seeks is her day in court, [including seeking] full damages plus punitive damages and injunctive relief."

RELATED: Trump defends decision to settle Trump University lawsuits

Friedman said his client, who lives in Florida, joined the class action suit with the belief it would lead to trial or Trump's admission of guilt. But the president agreed to pay the settlement, $21 million for two California suits and $4 million to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, before he took office, without admitting any fault.

The Trump University lawsuits became a boiling point during the 2016 election, during which time Trump also personally attacked the U.S.-bornCuriel, calling him a "hater" who had an "inherent conflict of interest" because of his Mexican heritage and Trump's rhetoric on building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

 
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