Support for class action for damages
The Senate today passed a bill from Sander Dekker, the Minister for Legal Protection, which will henceforth enable citizens and businesses jointly affected by loss or damage to seek redress in court. Minister Dekker: 'I am happy with this outcome. The new procedure meets a need on the part of consumers and businesses, ensuring clarity in one go for the parties involved and making it possible to prevent endless court cases in the event of large-scale loss or damage.'
In current practice, this is easier said than done. Sometimes the procedure is so expensive that it's cheaper for the victims to pay for the damage themselves, or they may lack the time and energy to pursue claims for many years if they have taken out an insurance policy with excessive charges or purchased a car that has been tampered with.
The benefit of the bill is that it will make it possible to settle the entire case via a single class-action lawsuit, which is much simpler and saves time and money. The judge will determine a single amount of compensation for all victims, allowing cases to be settled much more effectively and saving a huge amount of misery for a lot of people. At the moment, an interest group or other such party can help arrange a settlement to reimburse groups of victims, but if the party responsible for the damage doesn't cooperate, the victims can still end up empty-handed.
The bill also ensures the victims receive sufficient legal protection. Not all interest groups are equally capable when it comes to claiming compensation: their organisation and finances have to be properly in order. This bill will mean the victims know exactly who they are placing their trust in.