An implementation circular published on October 31, 2014, finally provides for more details on the French action de groupe procedure as well as a chart outline of the action de groupe.
It is recalled that an action de groupe may lie only if certain conditions are fulfilled, i.e., a plurality of consumers (at least two) in a similar or identical situation having suffered individual, economic damages stemming from a violation of a legal or contractual obligation by a professional in connection with either the sale of goods or the supply of services. Damages stemming from anticompetitive practices may also be indemnified within the action de groupe.
The wording of the law thus excludes damages resulting from personal injury, moral or environmental damages, as well as moral damages resulting from material damages. Such damages remain indemnifiable, however, by virtue of individual proceedings launched by the consumer against the professional.
The action de groupe procedure – constituted by a single proceeding – will take place in three phases.
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