The new group actions law in France – A cause for concern for companies?

The French law on consumer rights, also referred to as the “Hamon law” (“loi Hamon”), was enacted on 17 March 2014.

The introduction of group actions is one of the main innovations of this law. Companies must now integrate this possibility into their legal risk management. However, as the text currently stands, radical measures are not likely to be necessary.

Companies will face a new possibility for collective action -

Up until now, consumers generally did not pursue legal action for damages, given the small sums likely to be awarded and the complex and costly nature of lawsuits.

The possibility for group actions will now allow consumers to pursue compensation for losses “arising in connection with the sale of goods or the supply of services” and for those resulting from anticompetitive practices (abuse of a dominant position, anticompetitive agreements). The recoverable loss is the “pecuniary loss resulting from material damages [translated from the French term “dommages matériels”]”.

Please see full article below for more information.

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Topics:  Anti-Competitive, Class Action, Consumer Rights Directive

Published In: Antitrust & Trade Regulation Updates, Civil Procedure Updates, Civil Remedies Updates, General Business Updates, Consumer Protection Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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