On November 9/10, 2018, lawyer Georg Huber will speak at the “Follow-Up European Law Conference” in Hofen Castle on the subject of class actions.
The subject is highly topical, in particular due to the numerous consumer lawsuits in connection with the diesel scandal and various investor damages. Currently even a reclaim of ORF fees (GIS) is being asserted by way of a class action.
In his lecture Georg Huber will first explain basic models and procedural characteristics of class actions.
Thee include collective action by associations, sample complaints, as well as standard class action lawuits with direct payment claims of those involved.
Class actions pose a variety of problems:
- Who can sue – any individual or only certain associations?
- Are only declaratory actions allowed, or also complaints aimed at receiving payment?
- What about the statute of limitations?
- Do you choose an opt-in or an opt-out model?
- How can we prevent the misuse of class actions to the detriment of business, especially SMEs?
- How can the judiciary be relieved of the burden of mass proceedings?
The fundamentals of the US-American Class Action, the new German model declaratory action (which will be possible from 1.11.2018), the proposal of the EU Commission on collective actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers [COM(2018) 184 final of 114.2018] and the “Austrian-style class action” wil be presented.
An article on the latter by the speaker in “PHi – Haftpflicht international / Recht & Versicherung”, 2/2010 provides an overview that is still up to date: Class actions in Austria.
Class actions are often brought with the help of process financing. This aspect will also be discussed in the lecture before a summary is made at the end of the lecture on the usefulness and form of class actions.