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March 1, 2006

Is America Exporting Class Actions to Europe?

A recent article in The American Lawyer notes that governments and businesses across Europe are learning that the desire to sue en masse is not uniquely American.  Globalization and the domination of U.S. companies is a driving factor.  Citing as an example the hundreds of cases filed against Volvo in the wake of the 1999 Mont Blanc tunnel fire that killed 39 people and closed the tunnel for three years of repair work, the article notes that enterprising European lawyers are finding ways to overcome the significant traditional barriers to class actions in European legal systems.  One example is the use in Britain of an Australian innovation, professional litigation funders, to circumvent the ban on contingent fees.  Several countries have been prompted to adapt their legal systems to better content with this new reality. 

JDP

March 1, 2006 | Permalink

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