Class action wins against Milan’s Trenord

Compensation for 2 weeks of chaos in 2012.

In a rarely-used legal move in Italy, consumer association Altroconsumo has won a compensation claim against Milan-based commuter network Trenord on behalf of over 3,000 members and non-members.

The complaint harks back to December 2012, when the introduction of a new computerised system of staff assignments at the rail company’s head office proved totally inadequate, sending drivers and guards to the wrong stations at the wrong times. 

For two weeks, over 700,000 commuters were left stranded as trains simply failed to appear, or were packed like sardines into the few trains which arrived, claims the association. Information was not provided, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.

Over and above the legally required refund of the ticket and season-ticket price, plaintiffs were awarded €100 each as compensation for the inconvenience.

The low level of compensation and participation does not hide the significance of a successful class-action suit, which was introduced only in 2009 into Italian legislation and is still not a common procedure.