Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Help Me Howard: Class Reunion Disaster
Your ten year class reunion is supposed to be fun. But for one class of 1993 ... It's turned into a name calling contest and people want their money back. Can Howard help?
(WSVN) -- For the class of 1993 the year was a disaster.
Beginning when Hurricane Andrew hit right before school started.
Michael Nodarse says, "The whole first two months of my senior year it was like ... they had kids take showers at school ... they were serving breakfast back then because that whole area was pretty devastated. The school itself was pretty devastated."
Not only did Andrew damage Southridge High School --the storm affected the students so much....the made it the theme of their yearbook.
Michael says, "These are all the headlines from Hurricane Andrew, so they put these in the yearbook."
Time flies ... It's now 2003 and time for their ten-year class reunion.
Michael says, "I was definitely looking forward to it."
Unfortunately history repeated itself ...
In fact the reunion planning committee could have called itself little Andrew after destroying the reunion.
"It was a two day event at the intercontinental hotel."
Michael and his classmates were told to send $120.00 per person for the event ...
Michael paid with a money order.
They paid ... then the committee moved the reunion to a different location ... then another and then finally canceled it all together.
Michael says, "We started contacting the girls that were in charge of the committee."
Of course they wanted their money back.
But the only person with access to the cash was the former class president ...
Who reacted without class in e-mails to people who wanted their money back.
"The class president decides to write an e-mail ... basically insulting her, telling her she was never liked in high school. That no one liked her that everyone felt sorry for her."
She didn't stop there ... 10 years of simmering anger were fired off at another woman.
"She called and questioned how she met her husband and her sexual activities and everything, so it got really nasty."
When Michael's money order wasn't returned he wrote the former classmate calling the reunion planning a joke ... she didn't like that.
MIchael says, "She e-mails me back telling me I sound like a little girl ... and that you know if my name isn't Michelle. You know it's as if we are in high school."
Three month's --- a few more nasty e-mails and Michael still doesn't have a refund.
So he contacted a man who wasn't the head of the class but at least made it to a law class ... Help Me Howard.
Seven's Legal Expert, Howard Finkelstein says, "When the class president asked the classmates to send in money for the reunion, she took on the legal responsibility to handle and safeguard that money. When the reunion was canceled she had a duty to return the money within a reasonable time."
The former class president disconnected her phone and did not respond to our e-mails.
She had told Michael she mailed the money order back to him, so it must have gotten lost in the mail.
But for Michael it's gone beyond the refunds...
Leaving him and some classmates wondering if they have to put up with the insults in the e-mail ...
Howard says, "In this case the class president can say anything she wants about her old classmates ... provided she only sends the e-mail to them. And since that's what she did there are no consequences. What can get you in trouble is if you send that email to other people --- that can be slander."
Meanwhile ... the class reunion is back on ...
This time an independent company is planning it. Even though Michael is not sure he wants to go anymore.
He says, "It's really sad. I was looking forward to it. I was really looking forward to seeing my old friends. But, the class president has made it into such a nightmare, it's just really left a bad feeling."
If the class president is telling the truth and Michael's money order was lost in the mail
He should report it to the post office where he bought it and once they determine it has not be cashed, he can get a refund.
Now if the old class president has cashed the money order getting it from her is no different than getting it from a bad business...If they won't pay you can sue and collect.
Someone with no class blocking you from having a reunion with your money.
Contact us...we don't have a planning committee but we can put together a pretty happy ending...
If you have a similar problem - be sure to contact your own attorney.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: