Dagelijks archief: februari 12, 2018

Changing the Causation Requirement: its Impact on Defendant Companies

The possible success for claimants of a (mass) tort claim against a defendant company often depends on the causation requirement in Article 6:162 or Article 6:74 Dutch Civil Code (hence: CC) being fulfilled or not. Traditionally, this was a useful legal instrument for defendants to have claims dismissed, thereby keeping the floodgates of liability shut. However, in our current globalizing world (multinational) companies are confronted with causation requirements that differ from country to country and even within countries, at least in the Netherlands, depending on the factual situation. In the Netherlands, as elsewhere (for a comparative overview: S. Steel, Proof of causation in tort law, Cambridge University Press 2015), the traditional requirement of condicio sine qua non (CSQN) to establish liability has been relaxed to a large degree, either from a substantive and/or from a procedural (evidential) angle, with case law making exceptions to the rule on a case by case basis, without there being a generally applicable justification that firmly underpins these exceptions. Since there is as yet no ‘one-size-fits-all EU causation’ either, a company that has its business in multiple European countries is faced with different types of causation requirements per country and within a country. This means that the causation requirement has lost a great deal of its attractiveness for i.e. businesses over the years. The aim of this Blogpost is to highlight the possible consequences of the lack of a general justification for many of the individual changes (i.e. relaxations) in the causation requirement that facilitate the establishment of liability under Dutch tort law in our modern day and age.  Lees verder