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Cour de Cassation — Tort Law — Causation

Date Citation Note
17.11.2000 JCP 2000 II 10438 Case Époux X v. Mutuelle d'assurance du corps sanitaire français known as the Perruche case

Subsequent developments
The negligence of the doctor and the laboratory in the performance of their contracts with Mme X prevented her exercising her freedom to proceed to a termination of the pregnancy in order to avoid the birth of a handicapped child
The harm resulting to the child from such handicap was caused by that negligence and he can claim compensation for it
14.01.1971 JCP 1971. 2. 16733 Case Fonds de garantie automobile v. Hazevis

Subsequent developments
 Two huntsmen, standing close to each other and firing simultaneously, produced a single cone of pellets; it is unknown who caused the injury
Held that before any particular huntsman can be held liable it is essential to prove that it was his shot which caused the harm for which damages are sought and whose gun the pellets came from
02.07.1969 Gaz. Pal. 1969. 2. 311
Case Gueffier v. Ponthieu

Subsequent developments
Where the facts underlying an accident are uncertain and the claimant has not proved that he was exonerated by any cause, and where more than one person is liable for harm, each of them, having contributed to causing it, is fully liable, regardless of questions of recourse
02.07.1969 Gaz. Pal. 1969. 2. 312
Case Agent judiciaire de Trésor public v. S.A.R.L. Clans-Var La Flèche d’Azur

Subsequent developments
Where the facts underlying an accident are uncertain and the claimant has not proved that he was exonerated by any cause, and where more than one person is liable for harm, each of them, having contributed to causing it, is fully liable, regardless of questions of recourse
08.01.1964 D.1964, comm. 70
Case Sabatier v. Crispia

Subsequent developments
Where a person commits suicide in a psychopathic condition which is itself due to a combination of a trauma caused by an accident and a clinical predisposition, it is to be held that the accident which triggers the latent psychic condition is a direct cause of the suicide. Accordingly, clinical predispositions of the victim do not even partially exonerate the party responsible for causing the damage; the clinical condition of the victim, not being due to the accident, must nevertheless be taken into account in evaluating the damage caused
16.05.1962 D 1963, 137
Case Compagnie d’assurance Le Continent v. Clavel, Garnier and Paul

Subsequent developments
While it is impossible to hold either of two huntsmen personally liable (though it is certain that liability attaches to one or other of them, either as gardien of the pellet or as being at fault in firing when the victim was so close), the victim has a direct action against their insurance. Action is well founded whichever of the two huntsmen was liable since it was certainly one or the other of them
05.05.1962 GP 1962. 2. 172
Case Olejniczak v. Savin

Subsequent developments
Condition resulting from employment, forming an indivisible whole with the trauma resulting from the accident. Accident, even if not the direct and immediate cause of the death, nevertheless precipitated and worsened the clinical condition, thus establishing a causal link between the accident and the death
05.06.1957 D. 1957, 493
Case Litzinger v. Kintzler

Subsequent developments
If several individuals proceed to a mutually planned action or even one which results spontaneously from common excitement, they may have to share the responsibility for its harmful consequences, whether they result from a single act in which they all participated or a number of acts so connected by intention or execution so as to be inseparable
05.04.1957 JCP 1957. 2. 10308
Case Drouin and Gillet v. Mangala

Subsequent developments
Justified application of art. 1384 (1) Code civil where the injuries suffered were the unavoidable consequence of the defendants┬┐┬┐┬┐ joint control of the firearms, involving risks accepted as common and which unfortunately materialised
19.06.1951 D. 1951, 717
Case Transports maritimes de l’Etat v. Brossette and Bastard

Subsequent developments
No causal link established
07.05.1943 S. 1943. I. 106
Léo v. Etablissements Milliat frères
The mere presence of the child, as a foreigner employed in breach of legislation to protect French nationals but old enough to be employed quite lawfully, did not expose her to any greater risk than any other worker or endanger her by having to do work beyond her strength
29.09.1941 GP 1941, 437 Case Bruneau v. Bruneau

Subsequent developments
The sole cause of the accident was the fault of a particular huntsman who, without checking that he could safely do so, fired the shot that struck the claimant
The fault held to generate liability, namely creating a danger by hunting abreast in an area divided by hedges, is unconnected with the injury
It follows that in making all three huntsmen liable for the harm suffered by the claimant, the Court of Appeal has made two of them pay for damage which they did not cause