Decision of the Regional Court in Warsaw 2nd Civil Division of 3rd September 2013
II C 88/13

  1. A demand for the establishment of a defendant’s liability combined with a demand for the establishment that in relation to each member of the group circumstances mentioned in Article 446.3 of the Civil Code occurred, i.e. deterioration in the living standard after the death of a relative, is a claim which does not meet the homogeneity criterion.
  2. The notion of liability in the Act on Pursuing Claims in Group Proceedings should be understood according to the general principles – as a sanction related to a negative assessment of the obligated party’s conduct – i.e. an obligation to provide a performance. Therefore, it is inadmissible to limit a court’s decision to establishing that the defendant holds liability for a specific event, omitting an examination whether a member of the group sustained damage as a result of this event. Establishment in the meaning of Article 2.3 of the Act should be understood analogically as in a declaratory action based on Article 189 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and hence, the establishment at hand means the examination by the court of all prerequisites of liability.
  3. In the Court’s opinion, the provision of Article 446.3 of the Civil Code from which the group members derive their claims provides for the protection of financial interests. In the event of a death of the closest person, the protection of personal interest in the form of a family bond is presently guaranteed by Article 446.4 of the Civil Code. The claim from Article 446.3 of the Civil Code for damages for the closest family members of the deceased on the grounds of significant deterioration of their living standards is not a claim aimed at the protection of personal interests.
  4. At the stage of examination of the admissibility of hearing the case in group proceedings, circumstances of potential significance for the content-related decision remain outside of the object of examination – in the case at hand this refers to the defendant’s allegations regarding the lack of the State Treasury’s liability and the defence of limitation. The potential legitimacy of the claims does not constitute a prerequisite for initiating a group proceedings.

The decision was changed by the decision of the Supreme Court of 28th January 2015, file ref. no. I CSK 533/14.