On September 12, 2013, Global College of Natural Medicine, Inc., and its owner, Heather Johnstone, each filed petitions for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  As a result of the bankruptcy filings, the federal district judge to whom the class action against GCNM and Ms. Johnstone is assigned has adjourned a settlement conference that was scheduled for September 23, 2013.  No further action is presently scheduled in the class action due to the bankruptcy filings.

Issues relating to the sudden closure of GCNM and moneys owed to former students are likely to be addressed in the newly started bankruptcy cases.

This website will be updated as additional information becomes available regarding the bankruptcy cases.


In February 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, seeking recoveries on behalf of thousands of adults enrolled in prepaid, self-paced distance education programs at Global College of Natural Medicine, Inc..


The lawsuit comes in the wake of GCNM’s announcement in November 2012 that it was suddenly closing the school and its self-paced distance education programs after many years of operation. The lawsuit alleges that at the time of the closing, GCNM had already collected millions of dollars in tuition from Plaintiffs and a class of similarly situated persons for pre-paid programs that GCNM stopped providing. After the abrupt termination of its self-paced distance education programs, GCNM failed to refund tuition, according to the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs’ counsel in the lawsuit are Thomas H. Howlett, Dean M. Googasian, and Debra S. Janicki of The Googasian Firm, P.C., who may be contacted by calling 1-877-540-8333 , or by clicking here or sending an e-mail to GCNMlawsuit@googasian.com.

Defendants in the lawsuit are GCNM and Heather Johnstone, who is identified as director, owner, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of GCNM.

According to the lawsuit, GCNM marketed its self-paced programs as affording students the ability to learn and pursue degree and certificate programs with flexibility as to the time within which they were completed. But the sudden closure of GCNM precludes these students from completing the self-paced distance education programs for which they had paid and devoted considerable time and effort, the lawsuit alleges.

If you have a concern about experiences with GCNM, click here to share these concerns.

The lawsuit asserts breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and other claims, and seeks compensation for the tuition amounts paid for programs that are no longer available and for Plaintiffs’ loss of time and opportunity, among other damages. A copy of the lawsuit can be found by clicking here.