A federal judge has closed the book on the Trump University legal battle — at least for now.
U.S. District Judge Gonzolo Curiel gave his final approval Friday to the $25 million pact that averted a trial between Trump and thousands of his disgruntled former students late last year.
The settlement turned out to be a global deal that combined two California class-action lawsuits and a civil action by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Today’s final approval by a judge of our Trump University settlement will provide relief — and hopefully much-needed closure — to the victims of Donald Trump’s fraudulent university,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“Trump University’s victims waited years for compensation, while President Trump refused to settle and fought us every step of the way — until his stunning reversal last fall,” he said.
The rubber stamp from Judge Curiel shut down an attempt by Sherri Simpson and another class member to opt out of the pact at the last minute and continue litigation.
It was not immediately clear Friday if Simpson would appeal the ruling to the 9th Circuit.
Attempts to reach lawyers in the case were not immediately successful.
Plaintiff lawyers have said the settlement is a good deal for the students who spent thousands of dollars on nationwide seminars they called worthless infomercials with high-pressure sales tactics.
The settlement is expected to return about 90 cents on the dollar to the roughly 3,730 class members who submitted claims by the deadline, the lawyers said.
Simpson, a Florida lawyer, had been seeking the court’s permission to exit the global deal.
Simpson claimed she only remained in the class through an opt-out deadline because she believed Trump when he vowed never to settle.
She believed the litigation would lead to either a trial or a forced admission of guilt from Trump, her lawyer previously told the Daily News.
The final settlement — in which Trump agreed to pay $21 million for the California class actions and $4 million to New York — never would have passed her sniff test because it included no admission of fault or liability, her New York-based lawyer Gary Friedman said.
“This was absolutely unsatisfactory to her,” Friedman previously told The News. “She’s very angry.”
Trump already had won the election and was getting ready to assume the presidency when he agreed to the settlement with the excuse he simply didn’t have time to fight a case he still felt he would win.
Friedman said Simpson was prepared to get back in the trenches and attempt to prove President Trump wrong at trial.
A bankruptcy attorney based in Fort Lauderdale, Simpson attended a 3-day Trump University seminar in Florida in April 2010 and said the follow-up Gold Elite course she bought was nothing but fool’s gold.
“The Gold Elite program was a scam,” Simpson said in her sworn statement filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego.
“None of the promised resources were made available. The ‘mentor’ assigned to me disappeared and never returned my calls or emails,” she wrote.
“She was fleeced out of $20,000 she could scarcely afford,” Friedman told The News
Patrick Coughlin, a lead plaintiff’s lawyer who helped hammer out the $25 million deal in San Diego, had argued Simpson missed the deadline and that other former students deserved their settlement payments in a timely fashion.