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Gordon Legal acts on behalf of a large number of students who enrolled in the Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence - Aeroplane) course (CPL Diploma course) offered by Box Hill Institute (BHI) in conjunction with Gobel Aviation Pty Ltd (Soar).

In March 2020, Gordon Legal commenced class action proceedings against BHI on behalf of the representative plaintiffs and group members. Soar were joined to proceedings in July, 2020 as a third party. As a result Soar's joinder, Gordon Legal - on behalf of the representative plaintiffs and group members - filed an Amended Statement of Claim on 3 August 2020. A copy of the Amended Statement of Claim can be found here.

The four named representative plaintiffs are Nerita Somers, Adel Hassanein, Matthew Lamont and Felix Ouldanov. The representative plaintiffs have commenced the proceedings on their own behalf - and as representatives of group members' claims against BHI and Soar.

The compensation sought in the class action includes:

  • Reduction or waiver of group members' VET student loans attributable to the CPL Diploma course;
  • Reimbursement for lost time and additional expenses incurred through attending and participating in the CPL Diploma course;
  • Refunds of additional flight costs paid to Soar during the CPL Diploma course;
  • Any additional studying costs incurred as part of preparing for CASA exams;
  • Damages for distress and inconvenience as a result of the incompetent administration of the CPL Diploma course;
  • Interest; and
  • legal costs.
Orders from the first Case Management Conference.

On Monday 25 May 2020, the proceeding was listed in the Supreme Court of Victoria before His Honour Justice Dixon for a Case Management Conference.

His Honour made orders which required Box Hill Institute to email a document entitled ‘The Class Action Summary Statement' to all students who received an email from Box Hill Institute on Friday 15 May 2020 - encouraging students to re-enrol in the CPL Diploma course.

This order was made in response to submissions made on behalf of the plaintiffs that Box Hill Institute ought to have informed students of the group proceeding and the claims made within it.

The Amended Class Action Summary Statement can be found here.

Orders from the second Case Management Conference

On 22 July 2020, His Honour Justice Dixon made further orders for how the group proceeding will operate. Key orders from the Case Management Conference include:

  1. BHI was ordered to make discovery of all documents that we have so far identified as being necessary by 21 August 2020;
  2. Soar was ordered to make discovery of its documents by 6 November 2020;
  3. Group members who wish to opt out of the proceeding, must do so before 4:00pm, 18 November 2020;
  4. The plaintiffs' expert evidence is to be filed by 11 December 2020;
  5. The defendants' expert evidence is to be filed by 28 February 2021;
  6. The matter has been listed before judicial mediator, Associate Justice Eltham of the Supreme Court - with orders requiring the parties to attend a mediation on or before 12 March 2021; and
  7. If the matter does not settle at mediation, the matter will be immediately heard for another case management conference on 12 March 2021 and the matter will be set down for trial.

Whilst His Honour did not set a trial date, His Honour did indicate that the proceeding would be listed for trial in or around mid-2021.

Next Steps

If you have yet to engage Gordon Legal to act for you in the class action and wish to do so, please register your details here. We will be in contact with you to discuss your individual circumstances and to answer any questions you may have.

Additionally, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions. They can be viewed by clicking here.


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