Decision of the Court of Appeals in Warsaw 1st Civil Division of 24th February 2016
I ACz 65/16
- In the stage of certification, the premises of admissibility of the group proceedings, which are assessed by the court, are limited to the issues provided for in Article 1.1 and 1.2 of the Act on Pursuing Claims in Group Proceedings: the quantity of the group (at least 10 people), homogeneity of the claims, the same or similar factual basis and objective ability of being examined in group proceedings. The assessment of the substantive reasonableness of the claims is not recognized at the stage of the admissibility of the group action, is beyond the scope of the assessment of the admissibility, as this takes place in the subsequent stage of proceedings.
- The phrase “similar (equal) factual basis” means the situation in which the claims are based on similar events. This term corresponds to the same factual basis in the concept of formal joint participation.
- The dissimilarities between the standards applicable to each member of the group, as well as dissimilarities between the circumstances in which particular contracts were concluded, do not exclude the possibility that the precondition of the same or similar factual basis will be satisfied, as the main circumstance which determines the admissibility of the group proceedings is the identical mechanism introduced by formally independent standards declared by the claimant. This fact is also not changed by the different amounts of the contributions and the frequency of their payment or different amounts of the fees of redemption applicable to particular group members. Members of the group base their claims on the same provision, that is on the contract clause, subject to which the defendant may charge the fees of redemption, which were (in the members’ opinion) grossly excessive and restricted the possibility of the termination of the contract. The claims are not based on the same factual basis, but on similar (equal) factual basis within the meaning of Article 1.1 of the Act on Pursuing Claims in Group Proceedings.
The Court of Appeals in Warsaw 1st Civil Division in the following ruling bench:
Bogdan Świerczakowski, Court of Appeals Judge (rapporteur)
Robert Obrębski, Court of Appeals Judge
Beata Byszewska, Court of Appeals Judge
having examined, on 24th February 2016 in Warsaw, at the hearing in camera, the case filed by the Municipal Consumer Ombudsman in S. against (…) S.A. with its registered office in W. for the establishment of the defendant’s liability following the defendant’s complaint against the decision of the Regional Court in Warsaw of 13th October 2015, file ref. no. XXIV C 500/14,
hereby decides to:
- dismiss of the complaint,
- entrust the Regional Court in Warsaw to decide on the costs of the proceedings relating to the complaint in the final ruling.