Anne Arundel County Jury Finds Anonymous Barber School Academy and Its OwnerLiable To Students for Unfair Or Deceptive Trade Practices

On February 16, 2011, a jury in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County found the Anonymous Barber School Academy and its owner of Glen Burnie, Maryland liable to three former students and awarded almost $150,000.00 in damages.  After hearing witnesses and viewing evidence for ten days, the jury found that the Barber School and its owner violated Maryland's Consumer Protection Act.  The jury awarded each plaintiff just under $50,000.00 each in damages.

The jury also entered judgment against the owner of the School for intentionally inflicting emotional distress upon each of the three plaintiffs.  The jury also found that The Anonymous Barber School Academy  breached the conracts of all three students, and awarded damages for the breaches.

The students alleged a variety of misrepresentations and deceptive trade practices against the school amnd its owner including, among other things, that the school falsely represented it was a Paul Mitchell School, and that students who committed to pay $16,300.00 to the school to obtain an eduction for a barber's license would earn "as much as doctors and lawyers."  

The students introduced evidence from the Paul Mitchell Company showing the school was terminated almost ten months before the students enrolled.  Evidence presented at trial showed that the school continued to use the Paul Mitchell trademark and continued to make representations that misled the students into believing the school was still affiliated with Paul Mitchell when it was not.  The students also introduced evidence from the State of Maryland showing the State had warned the school it could not make representations that the students could make as much as doctors and lawyers, and that the school and its owner nonetheless continued to make these representations.

In addition, the jury's finding that the Anonymous Barber School Academy and its owner  committed unfair or deceptive trade practices requires the Court to award the students their attorneys fees.  The students' lawyers will submit their legal bills to the Court in the next two weeks.  Under Maryland law,a party who commits violations of Maryland's Consumer Protection Act must pay the legal fees of the agrieved parties, in this case, the students.

The students were represented by Allan W. Steinhorn, of Clark and Steinhorn, LLC, and by John Hermina and George Hermina, of the Hermina Law Group.  Two other lawsuits alleging similar claims, invovling thirty-one other students of the Anonymous Barber School Academy , are currently pending in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County.  Trial dates for those two cases have not yet been set.

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