Class action lawsuits, also known as representative action, is an advantageous form of lawsuits when uniform claims must be brought by several persons against the same person, company, or public authority. In this case, you can thus choose to file the lawsuit as a class action lawsuit instead of filing multiple individual lawsuits, and thus stand stronger as a collective.
At Advokatgruppen, we have several specialized lawyers with extensive experience with class action lawsuits. For example, our lawyer Lars Brandt has been working on class action lawsuits for several years. Among these, he lead a case regarding wall damages for more than 100 homeowners against Egernsund Tegl with a case value worth several millions.
How are class action lawsuits filed?
When uniform claims arise with several different persons as the claimants, it may be advantageous to handle all the claims in the form of a class action lawsuit. It is not a condition that the claims are identical, but they must be factually and legally uniform to a certain degree.
A class action lawsuit is subject to a particular procedure, according to which the court determines the “frame” of the class action lawsuit. A group representative is selected to lead the case on behalf of the group of claimants. The group representative must be able to look after the interests of the group members. A group representative can be a group member, a private institution, or another form of association. It will also be possible for a lawyer to be appointed as the group representative.
Class action lawsuits are filed by submitting a writ of summons to the court. Anyone who can validly be appointed as the group representative can file the subpoena. The subpoena must include a description of the group.
What does it take to file a class action lawsuit?
To be able to file a class action lawsuit in Denmark, there are some conditions:
- Several different claimants must have uniform claims against the same physical or legal entity
- The Danish courts must be legally competent to handle the uniform claims, pertaining to both jurisdiction and in general
- This collective action is considered to be the most appropriate way to handle the claims
- It must be possible to identify the group members and inform them about the lawsuit in a suitable manner
- It must be possible to appoint a group representative
It will be up to the court to determine whether these conditions are met.
Are there any restrictions?
When a verdict has been reached in a class action lawsuit, it will have be binding for you as a member of the group in question. The binding effect means that you do not have the opportunity to bring individual action if the class action lawsuit covers your claim.
What is the benefit of a class action lawsuit?
There are several benefits – among them an excellent opportunity to save both time and money! When you are part of a class action lawsuit, you are free from bringing independent action. Thus, each individual avoids having to pursue his action separately by preparing pleadings to the court, attending court hearings and so forth. Another advantage of this type of case is that the statute of limitations for your individual claims are suspended.
What does it cost?
As a general rule, when you bring a case before the court, you must pay a court fee. The amount can vary, depending on different variables, such as what kind of case it is and the economic value of the case. You can calculate the court fee on the Danish Courts’ website.
When are class action lawsuits relevant?
Class action lawsuits may be relevant in several different scenarios. It is often appropriate when several parties have a similar dispute with the same counterparty. Below you can see examples of scenarios where it makes sense.
Are you several buyers of a particular product who have subsequently suffered a loss or experienced an injury while using the product? Then you have the opportunity to file a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product.
Class action lawsuits are also an option if, for example, you have bought a new home, and the same type of damage is present in several houses either built by the same entrepreneur or using faulty materials from the same supplier. In this situation, it will be possible for you to join forces and take the case to court as a group.
Are you preparing a class action lawsuit, or do you need advice?
Do you need advice in relation to, e.g. product responsibility, and are there several of you in the same situation?
Let our lawyers in Horsens, Fredericia or Aarhus help you. Contact us and get in touch with a friendly lawyer. We are also happy to help if you need some advice.