A New York Supreme Court judge decided Tuesday that the case against Donald Trump and his former for-profit education program, Trump University, will go to trial.
The decision means the case will be heard by a jury, and Trump could be called in as a witness.
Trump University, founded by Trump and later named The Trump Entrepreneur Institute, was an online company offering courses in real estate investment, but it was not an accredited university or college.
In 2013, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, The Trump Entrepreneur Institute and Michael Sexton, the former president of Trump University, on behalf of more than 5,000 people who paid for the courses between 2005 and 2011.
Schneiderman accused Trump University of misleading students “into paying for a series of expensive courses that did not deliver on their promises.” The lawsuit seeks $40 million in compensation to the people who paid for the courses.
While the attorney general had asked for a summary judgment, or for a decision to be made by the judge without a full trial, his office released a statement Tuesday expressing approval of the decision.
“I am very pleased the judge has indicated her intention to move as expeditiously as possible to trial, as thousands of Mr. Trump’s alleged victims have been waiting years for relief from his fraud,” Schneiderman said in the statement. “We believe that Mr. Trump and Mr. Sexton will be essential witnesses at trial.”
Trump’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The date of the trial has not been set.