Bama Dining wins dining dollar lawsuit

The Alabama Supreme Court upheld the decision of a state trial court to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit against Dining Dollars at the University of Alabama, Auburn University and UAB Friday.

“The University is pleased that the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Judge Vance’s dismissal of all the claims brought by the plaintiffs in the Dining Dollars lawsuits,” said UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen. “In doing so, the court validated UA’s food service model that has existed for the past 16 years.”

Last August, a group of students filed a lawsuit against the University because of mandatory dining dollar fees. An article on The Houston Chronicle's website, chron.com said that the students claimed the dining dollar policy violates antitrust laws, illegally supports private businesses and charges too much for services.

Andreen stated that early in UA history, it was required that the University have mandatory meal plans and on-campus dining services have been contractor-operated since 1965.

“Like Judge Vance, the Alabama Supreme Court readily acknowledged the board of trustees’ broad authority to manage its own operations, including mandating that students participate in an on-campus dining plan and having the authority to enter into an exclusive management contract with a food service vendor to govern the provision of meal service on campus,” Andreen said.

In 1996 Aramark began managing the University’s dining services. Semester dining dollar fees are $300 at UA, $225 at UAB and $995 at Auburn. While Aramark is the managing company on campus, Sodexo is in charge at UAB and Compass Group USA at Auburn.

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