An unusual piece of business litigation is playing out in a southern state, according to local business news. A learning management system provider has filed a breach of contract suit against a university for allegedly providing their service to more students than the contract stipulated. Interestingly, the university is filing a counter suit, asserting that the company overcharged them for services rendered. Florida business owners understand how complicated a case like this could potentially become.
The story dates back to 2004 when a private Catholic university secured the services of Learning Technology Partners to provide it with access to the Izio learning management system. Originally, the payment model was per-student at a set rate, but the program expanded in 2011 when the per-student model was modified to provide partial access to certain tiers of students at different price points. Around this time, LTP apparently began noticing a serious drain on their bandwidth due to crippling traffic.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the university was allowing additional access to students beyond what had been paid for, but the university countered this accusation by claiming that a 2013 audit resulted in a change in the agreement that negated retroactive fees. LTP is suing for the additional fees. The university is suing for the reimbursement of the early termination fee, which was paid to end the contract.
This is clearly a complicated case, as Florida business owners will agree. Obviously, the court presiding over the litigation will require evidence to support the claims of both sides, including tangible records and possibly email and other personal exchanges. A breach of contract suit of this scope will surely be in the system for some time unless the parties are able to negotiate a settlement directly.
Source: insidehighered.com, “University and LMS provider sue each other for breach of contract“, Carl Straumsheim, Oct. 16, 2014