A different tack
While legislators in the US have clamped down on the excesses of the class action system, class actions in Europe are barely more than an emerging phenomenon. The Dutch have recently enacted legislation providing for the collective settlement of mass claims. A promising start or the birth of a nightmare? Paul Olden reports
The reasons for introducing a form of collective action are almost self-evident. Where plaintiffs have claims which are more or less identical, it would not be efficient to have each of them tried separately. From a plaintiff’s perspective, litigation costs are reduced dramatically by having one law firm represent the group, rather than having to hire lawyers on an individual basis. It suddenly becomes feasible to bring an action for claims that would not be worth pursuing individually because the litigation costs would outweigh the potential benefits.
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