The Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament) adopted the Act concerning actions for damages for infringements of the competition law which provides a number of facilitations for injured parties, including – among other provisions – unfavorable for cartels presumptions. Moreover the Act shifts the burden of proof onto the subjects which have infringed the competition law. The Act will be now processed by the Senate (the upper house of the Polish parliament).
The Act settles rules governing actions for damages initiated by natural or legal person – in particular consumers and undertakings. The bill provides, inter alia, presumptions that:
- infringements result in harm,
- the infringer is at fault,
- an overcharge paid by a direct purchaser from the infringer has been passed on to an indirect purchaser.
Other important modifications include in particular extension of the limitation period (from 3 to 5 years) and regulation of methods of proceedings in civil cases referring to damages for infringements of the competition law. Moreover the Act changes the Polish civil code regulation of limitation period – if the Senate also votes it into law, the limitation period for a claim for remedying damage cause by tort will be counted starting from the day on which the aggrieved party learned of the damage and of the person obliged to remedy it or the day on which the aggrieved party, having used due care, could have learned of the circumstances mentioned above.
The Act aims to implement the directive 2014/104/UE of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 November 2014 on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States of the European Union.
The Act has been passed to the Senate which is entitled to introduce additional changes. The Act is available under the following link: http://orka.sejm.gov.pl/opinie8.nsf/nazwa/1370_u/$file/1370_u.pdf
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