A daughter has sued her father for failing to pay her college tuition. The girl, a former student, sued for breach of contract, which she claims occurred when he failed to pay the full cost of her college tuition. The former Southern Connecticut State student, Dana Soderberg, had her father actually sign a written contract in 2005, where he agreed to pay her tuition and related expenses until she was 25. The Huffington Post reported that her father paid some of the tuition, but, when he stopped doing so, Soderberg was forced to take out a $20,000 loan to keep up with the payments. That loan, and the lack of further assistance from her father, led to Soderberg filing suit in court.
Dana Soderberg is asking for damages totaling $47,000 from her father in this court case, and it seems like she might have a lot of legal ground to stand on here. She and her father have a legally binding contract, and it does appear as though her father breached that contract if he didn’t keep up with the tuition payments. From that viewpoint, it really seems like Dana has a case that she can win here, and that her father should really be trying to work out a deal if he doesn’t want to lose a judgment for the full amount.
While the court might find in favor of Dana Soderberg for the full amount requested in her lawsuit, it still raises some questions about what took place here, and if her father has a different side of this story that needs to be presented in court as well.
It’s understandable that a father would want to help out his daughter when it comes to college tuition. The fact is, though, that it can get extremely expensive, and not everyone has the funds available to pay $20,000 a year just so their child can attend a prestigious school.
The amount that Soderberg ended up having to pay to attend college wasn’t revealed, but it would be interesting to learn if she had ever offered to help out her father by taking on a part-time job while attending school. She is a teacher now, so it isn’t a job that will allow her to pay off her college loan very easily (or quickly), and that might be where the lawsuit stemmed from. It also seems that their relationship would be strained to the breaking point by this disagreement.
The ruling in this case could be extremely interesting, and could end up setting a precedent for even verbal contracts that parents make with their kids about paying for college. Hopefully, the judge and jury in this case weigh both sides very carefully, and also take into account what message this could send going forward.