Francovich v Italy [1991]

Italy
failed to implement directive concerning protection of employees.
Applicant’s
employer went insolvent leaving her with substantial arrears of wages unpaid.
Sought
damages from Italian government.
ECJ
held such action sustainable.
Provisions
of directive did not have direct effect, but action could nevertheless be
maintained –
Principle
based on general provisions of Treaty –
Full
effectiveness of EC law would be called into question, and protection of EC law
rights weakened, if individuals could not obtain compensation in such circumstances.
Precise
conditions for liability would depend on nature of infringement which gave rise
to damage.
In
cases of non-implementation of directive, 3 conditions must be satisfied:
1.
Directive, if applied, must confer rights on individuals.
2.
Content of these rights must be apparent from the directive
3.
Must be causal link between failure to implement directive and loss suffered by
individual.