The draft bill on consumer protection proposing the introduction in French law of a French-style class action known as group action was presented to the Council of Ministers on 2 May 2013. It will be examined in Parliament in the course of June.
As it currently stands, a group action would only be able to seek damages for the harm caused “upon the sale of goods or the supply of services”, or arising out of “anti-competitive practices within the meaning of Title II of Book IV of the Commercial Code or of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”.
Also, only “material harm resulting from financial loss to consumers” would be actionable, to the exclusion of bodily injury or moral harm.
When the asserted breaches constitute offenses under competition law, a group action could only be brought on the basis of a final decision punishing such breaches.
Pursuant to the bill, only approved consumer associations recognized as being representative on a national level will have standing to bring a group action.