In Spain, asbestos-related claims can be filed whether individually or, alternatively, collectively ("Class Actions"). The filing of Class Actions is becoming more usual in recent years, for reasons of economy and procedural efficiency, as such procedure mechanism allows grouping together in a single lawsuit numerous individual claims relating to the same subject.
However, it is important to highlight that many of the asbestos-related actions are usually rejected as, in many cases, the limitation period applicable to them has expired. In Spain, pursuant to the Spanish Civil Code, the statute of limitation for those actions based on a previous contractual relationship is 15 years; and for extra-contractual actions it is one year (the majority of the case law provides that these periods are to be calculated from the date when the disease has been diagnosed).
As such, it seems to be evident that one of the key issues for the success or failure of the claims eventually filed, especially those ones filed by "environmentally affected persons" (which are subjected to a statute of limitation of one year), will be the interpretation by the Court when the limitation period began to run.