2010 CLASS ACTION (Collective law-suits)

Polish government accepted the draft of class actions (collective law-suits). At least ten people (e.g. persons who suffered damage for example in building catastrophe or due to harmful medicine intake) shall be entitled to file a collective law-suit in the court and pursue compensation. Damages shall be equal for each claimant. Entrepreneurs that have concluded agreement of exchange options also shall be entitled to collective law-suits if the court finds grounds for this form of proceeding.

Collective law-suits already exist in United States of America and in many European countries.

The main aim of new regulations is faster and more effective way of pursuing claims – the court shall look into evidence just one time. It can be very popular with claims for small amounts (e.g. travel agency that deceived its clients for 300 zl) which currently are not profitable due to higher incurred costs than the amount of compensation.

A group of at least ten people in proportion to one party responsible for damage is necessary in order to file a motion for class action (e.g. clients of one particular bank, persons using the same medicine or taking part in one accident or a disaster.) The regional court shall estimate the degree of relationship between entities that entitles them to act as a group and to file a collective law-suit. In the event of lack of such relationship the judge can dismiss the motion.

After filing the motion it shall be necessary to publish an announcement in a newspaper because apart from people who initially filed a motion other claimants can also join the proceeding. However, there is no possibility of correction of the group before the end of the proceeding. A person who joined a group cannot leave it till the proceeding is over.

Filing a class section involves paying a court fee in the amount of two percent of the value of the dispute subject matter.

Kancelaria Prawna 90-060 Łódź, ul. Nawrot 4/1, tel./fax +48 /42/ 630 58 41, tel. +48 /42/ 632 51 44,
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