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CE, Ass., 26 mai 1995, p. 221 Case Consorts Nguyen, Jouan, Consorts Pavan
26 May 1995
Translated by:
Tony Weir
Professor B. S. Markesinis

CE, Ass., 26 mai 1995, p. 221
Case Consorts Nguyen, Jouan, Consorts Pavan

26 May 1995

Conseil d’Etat

In view of the application lodged on 4 December 1992 on behalf of Mme Van, the widow of N’Guyen Quang, and others living at 45, avenue Jean Jaurès, Créteil, 94110, in which M. and Mme N’Guyen request the Conseil d’Etat:

1) to annul the decision of the administrative court of appeal of Paris dated 20 October 1992 whereby, at the instance of the general administration of the Assistance publique of Paris, it annulled the decision dated 6 November 1991 of the administrative tribunal in Paris holding the general administration liable to pay 500,000 francs by way of compensation for the damage suffered by M. N’Guyen Quang when he was contaminated by the HIV virus….

Considering that the uncontested fact emerges from the dossier submitted to judges below that the HIV virus which contaminated M. N’Guyen Quang was in the blood which he received in a transfusion during a surgical operation on 24 January 1985 in the cardiology section of the hospital group Pitié-Salpétrière, the blood having been supplied by the transfusion centre of that hospital group, neither of which has any legal personality distinct from that of the general administration of the Paris Assistance publique; and considering that if the product used proves defective it follows that the liability incurred by the Assistance publique depends not on the principles relevant to the liability of hospitals as providers of medical services but, as in this case, on rules applicable to its activity as manager of a centre for blood transfusion;

Considering that by virtue of the terms of the Law of 21 July 1952 as modified by the Law of 2 August 1961 blood transfusion centres have a monopoly for the collection of blood and that their role is to ensure that the collection, the treatment, the processing and the supply of blood products to those needing to use them is properly supervised from the medical point of view; that in view of the role conferred on them by the law as well as the risks inherent in the supply of blood products, centres of blood transfusion are liable, even if not at fault, for harm due to the poor quality of what they supply; that therefore in holding that the Assistance publique of Paris could not be liable to M. and Mme N’Guyen since no fault had been proved or disclosed by the incident, the administrative court of appeal of Paris did not apply correctly the rules on the liability of public bodies; …


Article 1: The decision of the administrative court of appeal of Paris is annulled;

Article 2: The matter is remanded to the administrative court of appeal of Lyons…..

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