A class action lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia against the operators of ESF Summer Camps over the failure to offer full refunds to parents after the ESF canceled their summer camps for the 2020 season. ESF Summer Camps bill themselves as the “gold standard” of summer camps, charging up to $6000 per child for upscale summer camp programs which operate in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Connecticut. On May 21, 2020, ESF’s owner Michael D. Rouse announced that the ESF Summer Camps for the 2020 season would be canceled, but stated that full refunds would not be available. Instead, ESF offered three “options”: an “online” summer camp experience, a credit towards possible future camps in other years, or the option of receiving a 70% partial refund, paid in installments over the next twelve months. The class action complaint alleges that the parents never executed any agreement which would allow ESF to keep 30% of the fees paid for camps—an amount which might be as high as $2000 per child—if ESF canceled the camps. The lawsuit seeks an order from the court requiring ESF to offer full refunds.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of lead class action plaintiff Jodi Teitelman by the law firm of DeNittis Osefchen Prince, a prominent law firm specializing in class actions with offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. As stated by Managing Partner Stephen P. DeNittis regarding the lawsuit:

“The COVID-19 crisis has put everyone – business and families – in a unique and difficult situation. But it is completely unfair for ESF to keep up to $2000 per child when ESF itself decided the camps are not going forward. The parents need that money and ESF has not earned it and has no legal right to just keep it.”

Stephen P. DeNittis
(856)-797-9951 sdenittis@denittislaw.com