West Virginia University, Barnes&Noble College Booksellers Inc. and The Book Exchange Inc. jointly announce that they have resolved the dispute among them regarding the automatic enrollment of students receiving WVU -administered financial aid in the WVU Bookstore Reserve Convenience Account program, the subject of a lawsuit captioned The Book Exchange Inc. v. WVU , et al, Circuit Court of Monongalia County, Civil Action No. 7-C-369, now pending appeal before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
WVU and Barnes&Noble implemented the reserve program in August 2005. Formal litigation began in Monongalia County Circuit Court on June 8, 2007. On July 25, 2007, the Circuit Court granted a preliminary injunction, which required WVU and Barnes&Noble College Booksellers to refrain from their use of the reserve program for the fall 2007 academic term. Thereafter, the Circuit Court dismissed the Book Exchange’s claims and dissolved the preliminary injunction. The Book Exchange appealed the dismissal; its appeal was scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court on Feb. 24, 2009. In addition, an unresolved claim by WVU and Barnes&Noble concerning the bond the Book Exchange was required to purchase when the injunction was issued was still pending before the Circuit Court.
Today’s settlement is comprehensive and puts an end to all pending litigation between The Book Exchange, WVU and Barnes&Noble College Booksellers, regarding WVU ’s campus bookstores and the agreements between Barnes&Noble College Booksellers and WVU . A full copy of the settlement documents are attached.
The settlement establishes certain programmatic guidelines and protocols, including an agreement that WVU will obtain prior authorization from a student receiving WVU -administered financial aid (on an”opt-in”rather than”opt-out”basis, before the student is enrolled in any textbook-buying program. Students choosing to purchase materials online from the campus stores at the beginning of each term may continue to use their WVU -administered financial aid for that purpose. Students who do not wish to participate in WVU ’s”advance”program for such purchases will have that portion of their financial aid disbursed directly to them in accordance with applicable student financial aid rules.
In the agreement, the parties acknowledge that the settlement is not an admission by any party of any wrongdoing or an admission of error in the parties’respective positions. As such, no party will make any payments under the agreement. All parties look forward to concentrating their energies on providing the best possible services to the students they serve and to the community at large.