The test case of Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair hearing took place at Manchester County Court on 6th August 2015 with the judgment handed down on 21st August 2015.
Here we explain why the test case of Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair is so important, and how it stands to benefit millions of delayed passengers in England and Wales.
What is Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair about?
Despite the Supreme Court ruling that passengers in England and Wales have SIX years to take a flight delay claim to Court, Ryanair has a clause in its Terms and Conditions stating that passengers only have TWO years.
Bott and Co filed Goel & Trivedi’s claims with the court five years and eight months after the flight delay – well within the six year limitation period.
But Ryanair argued that by accepting the airline’s Terms and Conditions when they bought their ticket, they gave up their right to claim after two years.
We’re delighted that the court has dismissed yet another argument put forward by the airlines to restrict passenger rights.
The case of Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair looked at whether Ryanair could deny Goel & Trivedi compensation based on this two year limitation argument.
Because this is a test case, all other Courts in England and Wales are likely to follow the decision – so the ruling stands to benefit millions of passengers.
Is the decision in Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair legally binding?
Not exactly, but it does stand to affect millions of passengers. There are a number of reasons for this:
It’s a test case
Which means it sets a precedent for other cases surrounding the same issue. All Courts in England and Wales are likely to follow the decision made in Goel & Trivedi because of this.
So this ruling doesn’t just mean that Goel & Trivedi will receive their compensation, it means it is unlikely that any other UK Court will allow Ryanair (or any other airline) to use the two year argument when defending claims.
It’s an appeal hearing
That means that it’s a ‘step up’ from a County Court hearing. If Ryanair appeal the decision the case could go to the Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court. If that happens, the decision will be legally binding.
It is the lead case on the two year limitation issue
This particular judgement comes from a Senior Judge, at Manchester County Court (where a large number of flight delay claims go). The ruling has come from a higher Court than any other that has given a judgment this point, so the decision is particularly persuasive.
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Why is this victory so important?
If Ryanair had won this case it would have been likely that the airline would have been able to place a time bar on all existing and future claims where court proceedings have not been issued within two years. That would have affected approximately 2.26million Ryanair passengers (totalling approximately £610million compensation).
The vast majority of major airlines have a similar two year limitation period clause in their Terms and Conditions. So if Ryanair had won, all other airlines could have followed suit and put a two year cap on flight delay claims.
This victory means that Ryanair passengers who have wrongly been told they only have two years to claim, should be able to resume their claim without having to face this argument again.
The last twelve months have seen a series of landmark judgments obtained by Bott and Co on behalf of millions of passengers and this is as important as any of those that precede it.
This will be the third landmark ruling that Bott and Co has won on behalf of Goel & Trivedi and millions of other passengers since 2014.
Is the decision final?
Ryanair could request permission to appeal the decision. If permission is refused, the airline can request an ‘oral hearing’. If this is refused, then yes, the decision is final.
If permission to appeal is granted, there is potential for the case to go to the Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court. If that happens, the ruling in Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair will become legally binding, and will be just as significant as Huzar and Dawson.
How does Goel & Trivedi affect my claim?
There are thousands of passengers with claims against Ryanair waiting on the outcome of this case. If you have a claim against Ryanair for a flight that was delayed between two and six years ago then this ruling is very important for your case.
In fact, any delayed flight over two years ago for any airline could have stood to lose out had we not won this test case as if Ryanair had won then other airlines would benefit.
We are expecting further legal challenges with airlines continuing to raise complex legal arguments to get out of paying compensation. Your risk-free option for recovering your compensation is to use our legal services as it is on a no-win no-fee basis and we cover all legal costs.
As a law firm we can issue proceedings (unlike claim management companies) and this means whatever the airlines try and do to delay your claim, you’ll never run out of time once we’ve issued proceedings.
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