Decision of the Court of Appeals in Warsaw 1st Civil Division of 23rd October 2014
I ACz 1689/14

  1. The scope of the action is determined by the claimant and the statement of claims determines the frames of the further proceedings. However, the scope of the proceedings is not identical with the scope of the statement of claims. The proceedings do not always use all the factual circumstances indicated by the claimant, it is also necessary to establish facts not indicated in connection with the claim’s construction. The scope of proceedings will in the future determine the scope of adjudication of the case. In examining the admissibility of the group proceedings, the court must first and foremost assess what claim the claimant is bringing forth and what circumstances the claimant should prove with this claim. Only in further order it is possible to assess whether these circumstances will pass the test from Article 1 of the Act on Pursuing Claims in Group Proceedings.
  2. An action for the establishment of liability is an action for establishing a principle, without awarding compensation. In the frames of an action for the establishment of liability the court does not examine circumstances impacting the determination of the compensation amount.
  3. In the Polish legal system, participation in the group is voluntary. Potential joining to the group after the action is allowed to be examined in group proceedings entitles the defendant to file allegations related to membership in the group. The grounds for such an allegation may also be the lack of the similar factual basis of the joining member’s claim. At the stage of the assessment of admissibility of group proceedings there are neither grounds nor the need to examine the factual circumstances in the context of potential future members of the group.
  4. The assessment of the State Treasury’s liability towards individual members of the group must have an individualised nature. The domination of elements individual for group members over common issues renders the settlement of the case concerning tortious claims impossible in group proceedings.