Judge says all PACT participants covered by suit

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A judge's ruling means all 42,000 participants remaining in Alabama's prepaid college tuition plan will be affected by the outcome of a lawsuit seeking to make sure tuition is paid by the financially precarious program.

Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick ruled that the suit will become class-action litigation covering all participants because they face similar legal issues with the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan.

A lawyer representing some of the parents who filed the suit, Doyle Fuller, said Monday that all PACT participants will get a global resolution defining their rights and the obligations of the state.

The attorney for the PACT board, George Beck, said granting class-action status doesn't mean the judge is going to rule for or against one side. That will only be determined after more court proceedings.

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