group action – Definition and procedure

group action - Definition and procedure

A group of court action in case of consumer dispute is possible since 1 October 2014. Update on the conditions and the applicable procedure.


Group action is a means of collective redress consumers against the same company as part of an action brought justice and supported by accredited consumer associations. This action may be brought for breaches of a company with the rules of the Consumer Code in connection with the sale of goods or the provision of services and in case of anticompetitive practices.


All consumers who act against a company via a group action can seek compensation for their injuries in an action conducted by accredited consumer associations. These and relieve consumers for advance fees and the completion of procedural formalities. This is the high court (TGI) is competent in case of group action.


Only material damages are compensable under the group action. Personal injury (eg accidents) or moral damages are not concerned.
If the company's conviction, the judge sets the amount that the professional will be allocated to each consumer. They must therefore declare individually for compensation (system "opt-in").

For the simplest litigation (clients subscribed to the same operator, for example), the law provides for a simplified procedure after which the convicted professional should directly compensate its customers judge's decision.

Coming into force

The group action is very recent in French law. Following the Hamon law of 17 March 2014, it was introduced in the Consumer Code (Articles L. 623-1 and following). The conditions of implementation of the new procedure were the subject of an application decrees published 24 September 2014. The group action officially entered into force on 1 October 2014.


The 2016 health law also allows the group action for victims of personal injuries arising from acts or medical products (including drugs) to act collectively to justice. This law is open to them since July, 2016.
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