Class action for adjudication

An adjudication class action aims at obtaining specific performance by the group members. In this type of group proceedings, the group members can demand the payment of a specific amount of damages by the defendant(s). A special requirement to be met in the case of pursuing pecuniary claims in group proceedings is the so-called “standardisation” of claims of the group members. A standardised amount of claims means that the group members must pursue from the defendant payment of the same amount of money. In fact, this means equalling the amount of claims “down” (i.e. adjusting them to the claims of lower value). Standardisation does not need to take place within the entire group (i.e. all group members do not need to pursue a claim in the same amount) – it is sufficient when this takes place in subgroups of at least two persons.

For example, despite the fact that an estimated amount of damages for particular group member is higher (for instance it amounts to PLN 11,000.00), a claim of that person in group proceedings will be set for a lower amount (for example it will be set at PLN 10,000.00) so that it can be adjusted to the claim of another group member, which is indicated as the closest to it (for instance the amount of PLN 10,000.00). Standardisation of claims results in a situation in which a group member cannot pursue its damages exceeding the indicated standardised amount (in our example they are not allowed to pursue the remaining amount of PLN 1,000.00). In practice, this means that at least two persons must set their claims at the same level – that is they must demand the payment of the same amount of money – even though that this amount is different than the value of damage suffered by one of those persons.

Amendment no. 1 of 2017 set aside the earlier requirement for standardisation of claims at taking into account common circumstances of the case which stirs many doubts anyway. Currently the standardization of claims is decided by the amount of the very claim amount pursued by the group members without the necessity to seek additional substantiation for that.

In the judgment, favourable for the group, ending the proceedings, the court defines an exact amount of damages to be paid to each group member by the defendant(s). An excerpt from such judgement constitutes an enforcement title, which is a document based on which (after appending it with an execution clause by the court) each group member may initiate and conduct the enforcement proceedings against the defendant.

Amendment no. 2 of 2019 introduced a possibility of replacing all of the group or sub-group members along with establishing the settlement for each member in a list constituting an attachment to the judgement (which proves to be very useful in very numerous groups). In the case of preparing an attachment, the list should be cited in the judgement, and the list itself is not subject to being read out along with the announcement of the judgement. In such a situation, the enforcement titled authorising the group member to conduct an enforcement is the judgement along with the copy of the list of members of the group or sub-group constituting an attachment to the judgement, specifically indicating the amount of the claim allocated to each individual group member.