EU to weapon consumers against companies with class actions
EU Commissioner for Consumer Rights Vera Jourova wants to weapon consumers in every member state with the possibility of class actions against companies misleading them, like in the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal. The latter won’t be targeted though, as the new rules won’t be retroactive.
In the proposal of the Commission only non-profit consumer organizations would have the right to file a class action against a malafide company to avoid ‘American situations’, in which law firms are making lots of money with class actions. Today there are member states allowing class actions already, but not everywhere in Europe. The Commission wants to wipe out the differences.
According to German press agency DPA that could lay hands on the proposals, there will be two ‘instruments’. One for a limited group of consumers suffering the same loss, that would be compensated directly.
The other for large numbers of consumers suffering a limited loss that would be difficult to claim before a judge individually, with the compensation going to a public cause serving consumers.
Lots of discussion
The Commission’s proposals are to be voted yet by the European Parliament and the member states. It is expected that they will cause a lot of discussion before becoming legal, as lots of member states have there own rules for consumer rights that they like to keep untouched.