Case C-569/16, Bauer – an heir’s accrued leave rights post-Bollacke but contra legem

After the CJEU’s labour law Bollacke judgment, if a worker had accrued paid annual leave but had died before taking it, then it looked like the heir to his estate could claim a cash equivalent from the employer. Yet the effect of this new EU labour law right seems to be drained by old German inheritance law. Thus, what is a German labour law judge to do? Applying the EU’s ‘working time’ Directive 2003/88/EC or Article 31(2) of the EU Charter would clearly be contra legem so there is no obligation on the national court to give effect to it. However, if EU labour law prevails, then does it matter that the employer was a public body (Case C-569/16) or a private company (Case C-570/16)? More

Case C-341/16, Hanssen Beleggingen – exclusive court jurisdiction in trade mark validity proceedings

When a trade mark register indicates the formal owner of a mark but another person then claims to be the owner, where can that person litigate to challenge the registration? Is it only in the courts where the formal owner is domiciled? Or is it in the courts of the Member State that hosts the registry? More

Case C-621/15, W and heirs – seeking to prove a defective vaccine

Behind this case is a human tragedy. Soon after a person was vaccinated against Hepatitis B, he began to show the initial symptoms of MS. Prior to the vaccination he had shown no signs of MS nor was there any trace of the disease in his family. Unfortunately for the victim, and now his heirs, there is no consensus of opinion in the scientific community about the link between the vaccine and MS. Consequently, can the victim’s heirs rely on the law to make that link? In some circumstances, French law will allow a judge to make the link, even without a consensus of opinion in the scientific community. However, the issue is now whether the French law on this point is compatible with the EU’s ‘defective products’ Directive 85/374 because the Directive actually requires a claimant to prove that there is a causal link between a defect in a product and the harm suffered. More

Case C-118/13, Bollacke – claiming the unused paid annual leave of her late husband

If a worker accrues paid annual leave but dies before taking it, then can the heir to his estate claim a cash equivalent from the employer by dint of the EU’s ‘working time’ Directive 2003/88/EC? And in view of the fact that a goal of the Directive is the health and safety of workers, is an employer obliged to grant leave even if the employee has not asked for it? More