Thirty-seven former medical assistant students filed a lawsuit this month claiming the Harris School of Business in Linwood misrepresented its accreditations.

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Atlantic County, alleges the students learned near the end of a 10-month program that they were ineligible to sit for a specific exam given by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Allegations include consumer fraud and that the school misrepresented that students would be eligible to take the AAMA Certified Medical Assistant Examination, a credential that Northfield attorney David Sinderbrand said could have helped them find jobs and earn higher salaries.

Sinderbrand is representing the students, who are predominantly women from Atlantic and Cape May counties who attended in 2006 and 2007. He plans to add five more students to the lawsuit, he said.

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Sinderbrand said the school lacked accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Professionals or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, which it would have needed to prepare students to take that exam. The lawsuit alleges students were specifically told they would be eligible to take the examination after completing the program.

The tuition expense was approximately $12,000 per student, according to the lawsuit.

The Harris School of Business, which has campuses in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, is owned by East Haven, Conn.-based Premier Education Group. The company denied wrongdoing in a statement Wednesday.

“It is the policy of Harris School of Business/Premier Education Group not to comment on pending litigation,” William Anjos, senior vice president of operations, said in an email. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, we deny any wrongdoing in connection with this matter.”

The Harris School was the subject of a similar lawsuit in 2007 filed by six different women who attended the Linwood school’s medical assistant program. At the time, school officials said the school had accreditations by other bodies and was approved to offer other exams through the National Center for Competency Testing. Sinderbrand, who was not involved in that matter in 2007, said that case was dismissed on procedural grounds.

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