Observatory of class actions in health

France and Quebec have adopted class actions to promote patient compensation.


For the French, it is the law dated January 26, 2016 (article 184) that officially launched the class action suit for victims of health product damages (effective July 1st, 2016 at the latest). More specifically, the action is open to approved patient associations in the health system and deals with the compensation of injuries resulting from bodily injury. Patients who feel they are victims can join the class action, whose criteria will be defined beforehand by the judge.


In Quebec, the class action in force since 1978 is provided for in the Code of Civil Procedure (section 571 s). It is not limited to the health sector. Collective action has been used on several occasions to recognize not only the responsibility of pharmaceutical manufacturers and large cigarette companies, but also to promote access to health care and services. Quebec has adopted an "opt-out" model, which, unlike France, implies the automatic inclusion of members of groups identified in the class action. In addition, recourse can be exercised by one or more persons representing the group and not exclusively by approved patient associations.


The mission of the Observatory of class actions in health is to conduct a comparative analysis of these legislative systems and of the actions undertaken.


Persons in charge: Anne Laude (Professor at Paris Descartes University) and Catherine Régis (Professor at University of Montreal)

Institut droit et santé (institute of health and law)

This content has been updated on 30 November 2016 at 13 h 08 min.