ILR’s Rickard: Consumers are the Losers in EU’s Collective Action Proposal

19th Sep 2018

In a POLITICO EU op-ed earlier this year, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) President Lisa A. Rickard said the European Commission’s proposal on collective action lawsuits “would import some of the worst parts of the U.S. class action system without including safeguards for consumers that, just a few years ago, the Commission identified as necessary to protect them”.

Rickard said the European Union is on the verge of importing U.S.-style class actions, in which “trial lawyers get paid large fees, litigation financiers get a cut, and consumers get next to nothing”. Unless the Commission adds significant safeguards against litigation abuse, this is what she predicts will happen in Europe.

Research released by ILR this July found that only 13 percent of EU consumers support the proposal as it is currently written. Nearly 70 percent want safeguards in place before instituting a collective action mechanism. Until safeguards are added, Rickard said the “European Parliament and Council should take the results of this survey seriously and reject this flawed proposal”.