Decision ID: 002086
In June 2007 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee noted a judgement rendered in May 2007 by the Civil Court in Saint Nazaire in respect of claims by salt producers in Guérande for losses due to lack of salt production in 2000 resulting from a ban on seawater abstraction, as well as for losses caused by the late start of the 2001 season and for costs of restoration of salt ponds in 2001. It was recalled that a court expert had concluded that it would have been feasible to produce salt in 2000, but that because of the bans that had been imposed, the maximum yield would have been between 4% and 11% of normal production. It was noted that the Court, having stated that the Fund’s admissibility criteria were not binding on national courts, had held that the decision not to produce salt in 2000 had been a reasonable measure to prevent or minimise pollution damage. It was further noted that the Court had accepted that the loss of salt production in 2001 was also a consequence of the incident, since the oil in the vicinity of the ponds had only been removed during the spring of 2001, but the Court had decided to reduce the compensation for losses in 2001 by 50% to take into account the impact that the exceptional rainfall in that year had had on the salinity of the ponds. It was also noted that the Court had accepted that the costs incurred in restoring the salt ponds in 2001 were an unavoidable consequence of the decision not to produce salt in 2000, but that it had decided to reduce the compensation amount by 50% due to the exceptional rainfall in 2001. The Committee instructed the Director to examine the judgement and to report to the Committee at its October 2007 session with his proposal or decision in respect of lodging an appeal.