Appeals court upholds student’s case against Vatterott College

A Missouri appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of a Lee’s Summit woman who successfully sued a for-profit college, arguing that the school had deceived her about the value of her education.

Vatterott College had appealed the Jackson County Circuit Court jury verdict, which awarded Jennifer Kerr $27,676 in actual damages and $13 million in punitive damages. A judge later trimmed that $13 million to about $2 million to comply with a state damage cap.

According to the ruling, Kerr proved at trial that Vatterott deceived her into believing that credits earned from the college’s medical assistant program would transfer to a nursing degree.

Instead, the college enrolled Kerr in a medical office assistant program, which did not offer an associate’s degree but a less valuable certificate of completion.

Mark Morris