Limitation periods for cross-border disputes over accidents - MEPs say harmonisation needed

Pressmeddelande   •   Feb 01, 2007 14:22 CET

Parliament backed a suggestion by its Legal Affairs Committee that the Commission should draft legislation harmonising national rules on limitation periods governing cross-border disputes over fatal accidents and injuries. In a report by Diana Wallis (ALDE, UK), the committee proposes a general limitation period of four years.

Cross-border disputes between EU citizens over such accidents and injuries are currently subject to differing "limitation periods", or cut-off points, in each Member State. The current differences in national legislations regarding limitation periods, and particularly the starting date, the possibility of interrupting or stopping the running of time and the date of expiration, may have undesirable consequences for accident victims.

Parliament argues that the general limitation period for all cross-border proceedings involving injuries and fatal accidents should be four years, except where the proper law of the claim provides for a longer period. The committee also proposes a limitation period of ten years for enforcing a damages claim established by a final judgment or arbitral award.

In addition, say MEPs, Member States should be required to set up national information centres for keeping a register of all criminal investigations involving foreign victims and for providing written answers to requests made by victims.

Ref.: 20070130IPR02602
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