Dyson’s claim dismissed by EU General Court, published December 2021
The European Union General Court dismisses Dyson’s claim for compensation for alleged loss. Dyson Ltd and other applicants seek compensation. That is for the loss which they claim to have suffered as a result of the unlawfulness of the regulation. The alleged loss is valued at € 150m or even more.
What was at the root of this conflict?
All vacuum cleaners marketed in the EU were ranked from A to G in terms of energy efficiency. The Court's case was about these energy efficiency badges. The first tests needed an empty bag or dust compartment. Dyson argued that this version did not reflect real-world use. Dyson contended with succes: The regulation was overturned in 2018 by intervention from the European Court of Justice. The 2013 Regulation was annulled. That was on the ground that the testing method carried out with an empty receptacle did not reflect conditions as close as possible to actual conditions of use. Based on this result, Dyson went back to court and claimed compensation for alleged losses.
However, on Wednesday 8 December 2021 the General Court rejected this claim. The EU's lower General Court ruled that the Commission did not violate their duty to act fairly or indiscriminately towards bagless vacuum cleaner manufacturers like Dyson. According to the General Court the Commission's choice to use an empty bag can be justified because there was enough doubt over the efficacy of tests. Therefore the EU General Court ruled that Dyson is not entitled to £150m in damages over flawed energy efficiency regulation.
“By using the standardised empty receptacle testing method, the commission did not manifestly and gravely disregard the limits on its discretion or commit a sufficiently serious breach of the principles of equal treatment and sound administration,” the court said in a summary of the judgment published on Wednesday.
The latest developments
Dyson has said it will appeal against this ruling. Sir James Dyson, the company’s billionaire owner, argued that mandatory EU tests had “illegally misled millions of consumers” and sought compensation from the European Commission for lost sales and wasted time. He basically said that testing his vacuum cleaners with empty dust compartments was an awry approach in favour of their German rivals.
According to a Dyson spokesperson: “The general court has chosen to turn back from the earlier decision of the European court of justice and seems unconcerned that the commission broke their own law and ignored Dyson’s evidence – they declare it is not obvious enough for them to justify damages. This is an insult to the millions of shoppers who were misled and totally ignores the substantial harm – running to £150m – caused to Dyson. Meanwhile the commission walks away scot-free despite having favoured the European bagged-machine lobby, including the major German manufacturers, throughout."
Dyson has the right to appeal to the court of justice within the next two months and 10 days. We will keep you up to date on the latest developments.
Dyson’s claim dismissed by EU General Court, sources: