BUREAU VERITAS STOP
LexInter | May 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

BUREAU VERITAS STOP

FRENCH REPUBLIC
IN THE NAME OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE

Request from the public limited company Bureau Véritas and appeal from the Minister of Transport tending to:
1 ° the annulment of the judgment of March 12, 1981, by which the Toulouse administrative court ordered it, jointly and severally with the State, to compensate for the damage suffered by Uni-Air as a result of the delay in issuing an airworthiness certificate;
2 ° the rejection of the request presented by the company Uni-Air before the administrative court of Toulouse as well as the appeal in guarantee of the State;
Having regard to the code of administrative courts; the civil aviation code; the common specifications annexed to the decree of October 30, 1937; the decree of October 30, 1937; the decree of September 6, 1967; the ordinance of July 31, 1945 and the decree of September 30, 1953; the law of December 30, 1977;
Considering … [junction]; . .
On the competence of the administrative jurisdiction: Cons., On the one hand, that the public limited company Bureau Véritas was approved, by decree of the Minister of Air dated October 30, 1937, renewed by decree of November 23, 1942, as classification society responsible for ensuring the control for the issuance and maintenance of airworthiness certificates for civil aircraft; that it acts instead of the State within the framework of the common specifications, made applicable by decree of October 30, 1937, which determines the mission of classification societies, the prerogatives with which they are invested to ensure its execution, as well as the powers, in particular of control and sanction, which the Minister of Air has in their regard; that, therefore,
Cons., On the other hand, that by virtue of the ministerial decree of September 6, 1967, applicable to the present dispute, the limited company Bureau Véritas, an approved classification society, was authorized to issue certain airworthiness certificates itself; that, consequently, it was invested with prerogatives of public power;
Cons. that it follows from the foregoing that the administrative court is competent to hear disputes relating to damage caused by this company in the exercise of the prerogatives of public power which have been conferred on it for the performance of the service mission public with which it is invested;
On the liability of the public limited company Bureau Véritas: Cons. that it results from the instruction that the delay brought by Bureau Véritas to the issuance of the airworthiness certificate requested by the company Uni-Air was motivated by the absence, in the file, of the exemption for “incomplete flight recorder “; that it did not come within the attributions of Bureau Véritas to carry out this control nor, consequently, to obstruct the delivery, for this reason of the certificate of airworthiness; that consequently, the applicant company committed, in the execution of the public service, a fault such as to engage its responsibility; that, however, the company Uni-Air was imprudent in planning a flight for a specific day, whereas she was not sure of having all the necessary documents at that time; that it follows from the foregoing that the applicant company is not justified in maintaining that it is wrong that the Toulouse administrative court ordered it to repair, up to two-thirds, the damage suffered by the Uni-Air company due to the delay in issuing the airworthiness certificate;
On the responsibility of the State: Cons., On the one hand, that no fault can be found, in the present case, against the State:
Cons., On the other hand, that, if the public limited company Bureau Véritas acts, as provided for in the common specifications of October 30, 1937, instead of the State under its control, it has its own legal personality as well as an effective existence; that, consequently, and whatever the links which unite it with the State, the faults which it commits in the exercise of its mission of public service can engage only its own responsibility, the responsibility of the State can only be engaged, with regard to the victims, on a subsidiary basis,
Cons. that it follows from the foregoing that, the Minister of Transport is justified in maintaining that it is wrong that, by the contested judgment, the Administrative Court of Toulouse condemned the State, jointly with Bureau Véritas, to repair the damage suffered by Uni-Air;

DECIDES: 
[annulment of articles 1 and 2 of the judgment of the administrative tribunal; condemnation of the public limited company to compensate up to two thirds of the damage suffered by the company Uni-Air] .N
[1] Rappr. TC, Mme Cailloux c / National Committee for the Safety of Electricity Users [Consuel], 02.206, 25 Jan. 1982.

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