By, Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
Today, my organization, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, joined 12 other European business associations to petition EU policymakers to make meaningful, commonsense changes to the European Commission’s collective action proposal before they create a litigation industry across the Europe.
Earlier this year, the Commission issued a proposed Directive on Representative Actions that would introduce U.S.-style class action lawsuits across the EU. This proposal would create a system even worse than the U.S. system as it lacks the necessary safeguards to protect against the exploitations and manipulations that have plagued our legal system.
Furthermore, the proposal goes against the Commission’s Recommendation from 2013, which said that any collective action system must have provisions to protect against rampant fraud and abuse.
European consumers deserve better. In fact, a survey conducted earlier this year shows only 13% of consumers support the proposal as it is currently drafted. Consumers want the ability to seek redress after suffering damage or loss, but the proposal introduced by the European Commission would actually benefit lawyers and litigation funders over consumers.
Unless strong, significant safeguards are added to the final directive, the European Commission will essentially import the broken class action system that has run amok in the United States.
These groups represent businesses across the continent, and we stand united in our concern over the current state of the draft proposal.