V ° Inexcusable Fault
LexInter | September 25, 2002 | 0 Comments

V ° Inexcusable Fault

On the sole means, taken in its second branch:

Having regard to article 1147 of the Civil Code, together article L. 230-2 of the Labor Code , and articles L.411-1 and  L.452-1 of the Social Security Code;

Whereas by virtue of the employment contract binding him to his employee, the employer is bound to the latter by an obligation of security of result, in particular with regard to accidents at work; that the breach of this obligation is in the nature of an inexcusable fault, within the meaning of article L.452-1 of the Social Security Code, when the employer was or should have been aware of the danger to which the employee was exposed , and that he did not take the necessary measures to preserve it;

Whereas, according to the statements of the trial judges, that, on May 13, 1994, Miloud H, employee of the company Camus Industrie, was found dying at his workstation, his skull shattered by the multispindle lathe on which he was working and whose the protective covers had been removed; that, on June 6, 1995, the criminal court condemned the manager of the company Camus Industrie on counts of reckless homicide and violation of measures relating to health and safety at work due to the lack of protection of the tubes bar guides;

Whereas the Court of Appeal dismissed the claim for compensation based on the existence of inexcusable fault on the part of the employer made by Ms. E widow of the victim, on the grounds that the criminal conviction of the employer did not entail recognition of an inexcusable fault that if this fault was the decisive cause of Miloud H’s occupational accident, that even if the lack of protection at the level of the bar guide tubes constituted a criminal offense, it cannot however, be considered, having regard to the circumstances of the accident which remained unknown, that it is this lack of protection which was the determining cause, and that, depending on these elements, which do not make it possible to explain what type of ‘intervention the victim was able to carry out on a machine which was not at a standstill, nor why she put her head forward into the dangerous zone of the lathe, it should be considered that the employer could not be aware of the danger to which he exposed his employee by assigning him to a machine on which he was used to working;

Whereas by thus ruling by inoperative reasons the Court of Appeal violated the aforementioned texts;

FOR THESE REASONS, and without there being any need to rule on the first part:

BREAK AND CANCELED, in all its provisions, the judgment rendered on June 29, 1999, between the parties, by the Dijon Court of Appeal; returns, consequently, the cause and the parts in the state where they were before the aforementioned judgment and, to be done right, returns them before the court of appeal of Lyon;

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