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Cour de Cassation — Tort Law — Liability of own (faulty) conduct — Prior criminal decision; effect on civil action

Date Citation Note
30.12.1929 DP 1930. 1. 41 Case Ollagnier v. Bourbon and Malécot

Subsequent developments
A civil court cannot ignore what has been held in a criminal court (authority of penal judgements over civil proceedings)
Since a penal fault contains all the elements of a civil fault, a court cannot, in a case of release by reason of absence of fault held against the accused, accept a claim for damages against that same person based on Articles 1382 and 1383 of the Civil Code
Only exception: the civil action will lie only if the claim sets out, outside the elements which constitute the offence (which contains all the elements of the civil fault), and which motivated the criminal proceedings, “circumstances of a nature to involve the responsibility” of the person discharged
Such “civil prosecutions” are impossible if the civil court finds that the accident (in this case) was due to chance, the “presumption of fault” laid down by article 1384 para 1 not being applicable in such a case