Our firm successfully objected to a ‘class action request’ brought against one of the country’s leading telecommunication providers and its subsidiary, where the claimed amount was more than THB 114 billion (USD 3.4 billion).
‘Class actions’ were introduced to protect a class of persons who are entitled to the same rights deriving from the same factual and legal issues. This implies that if a person who filed the claim wins, the other persons within the same class will also automatically win the case. A person can initiate a ‘class action’ by filing a ‘class action request’ together with his complaint with the competent court. A ‘class action request’ will be considered by the Court of First Instance, subject to review by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal’s decision on this request shall be final.
Back in 2018, a small group of consumers filed a ‘complaint’ together with a ‘class action request’ alleging that our client miscalculated their mobile phone service fees and demanded that our client pay monetary damages together with punitive damages of five times the said monetary damages. According to Somboon, partner and co-head of Dispute Resolution Practice of Kudun and Partners,
“Although the amount of claims by the small group of consumers (THB 2,790 per consumer) is relatively small, because our client has more than 41 million users, the total claimed amount could be as high as THB 114 billion (USD 3.4 billion) if the court rules that this is a class action case.”
In the Court of First Instance’s proceeding, we helped our client in opposing the class action request.
“It was a fierce fight but eventually, the Court of First Instance ruled in our clients’ favor and dismissed the ‘class action request,” added Pariyapol, partner and co-head of Dispute Resolution of the firm.
The group of consumers decided to appeal, and we continued to assist our client in objecting to their appeal. On August 3, 2021, the Court of Appeal rendered its decision to uphold the Court of First Instance’s ‘class action request’ dismissal order.
Somboon added, “With the latest decision made by the court, this could create a precedent and have a substantial impact on the telecommunication industry.”