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Actress Grażyna Wolszczak won against the State Treasury in the smog trial. The court’s verdict is now legally binding

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Grażyna Wolszczak brought a lawsuit against the State Treasury regarding the insufficient fight against smog. She demanded payment of compensation for a social purpose. The verdict, favorable for the actress, was passed in January 2019. According to the lawyer representing the plaintiff, the judgment became final on Friday. The Warsaw court dismissed the appeal of the State Treasury in this case.

Attorney Radosław Górski, representing Grażyna Wolszczak, announced on Friday that the District Court in Warsaw, rejecting the appeal of the State Treasury, “clearly indicated that air pollution is a real and dangerous phenomenon, and our state is committing unlawful negligence, as a result of which the rights are violated. citizens”.

As he assessed, the dispute over the liability for poor air quality, which was resolved by a legally binding and final judgment, had not only a procedural dimension. – It is also, and perhaps above all, a civilization dispute about the contemporary role of the state in the field of environmental protection – noted the lawyer.


Smog lawsuit

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The first instance decision in this case was made before the District Court for Warsaw – Śródmieście in January 2019. The court then allowed the actress’s claim and ordered the State Treasury to pay five thousand zlotys to one of the oncology foundations. “Everyone has the right to enjoy the advantages of an unpolluted environment” – the district court justified then.

That decision was not final. The appeal was lodged by the State Treasury. The appeal was dismissed on Friday.

The right to live in a clean environment is not a personal good

As attorney Górski reminded, earlier a resolution of the Supreme Court was passed with regard to the problem that was the subject of the case.

At the end of May, the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled in a resolution issued on the basis of a similar case “for clean air” – conducted by the court in Gliwice – that the very right to live in a clean environment is not a personal good, but personal goods are health, freedom and privacy, which can be violated by polluted air. “Undoubtedly, life in a contaminated environment is a situation that can harm these personal rights” – assessed the Supreme Court.

– The Warsaw district court shared the views of the Supreme Court – emphasized Górski. He added that that resolution of the Supreme Court was well interpreted by the district court.

Famous people for the fight against smog

This is not the only case of this type that is pending before the capital’s courts. For example, in October 2019, the district court adjudicated a total of PLN 35,000 in damages to charity in a case in which actor Jerzy Stuhr, journalist Mariusz Szczygieł and translator Tomasz Sadlik sued the state for violating the right to use unpolluted air. That decision is still not final.

As emphasized by attorney Górski, the group action concerning liability for poor air quality in Poland, in which the group is represented by actress Katarzyna Ankudowicz, is also accepted for examination.

Main photo source: PAP / Piotr Nowak

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