Sunday, 28 April 2013

Lack of EU collective redress weakens position of defective breast implants' victims

EU consumer organisation BEUC issued a press release on the 17th of April lamenting the constant lack of a possibility to claim consumer collective redress in Europe (Victims of breast implants scandal flight for compensation - need for EU to better protect with Collective Redress). Even though for years now the European Commission and other parties expressed their concern about the lack of effective enforcement of consumer rights when an individual consumer suffers damage of little monetary value but the harm to the society could be great, no laws have yet been introduced. There are only a few countries in the EU who allow consumers to bring a collective claim to court or in front of a tribunal, mostly in the form of a representative action. Not only is there lack of harmonisation of these measures among the Member States, but also rarely these proceedings give consumers all advances that a EU class action/ representative action system could. This issue became relevant again with more than 5000 women (victims from various EU countries since the device was sent across Europe) seeking compensation due to damage they have suffered from defective breast implants.

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