Decision ID: 003501
In March 2008 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee noted that in December 2007 the Court of Cassation had considered an appeal by a fishermen and a local fishermen’s union. The Executive Committee recalled that in March 2005 the Commercial Court in Rennes had rendered a judgement in respect of a claim by a fisherman who had received two provisional payments from the 1992 Fund and had signed full and final receipts and releases for the amounts paid. It was also recalled that a local fishermen’s union had joined the proceedings supporting the claimant, and whilst not making a specific claim for pollution damage, had claimed against the Fund a symbolic €1. The Committee recalled that the Commercial Court had rejected the claim by the individual claimant and had held that by signing a full and final receipt and release agreement he had entered into a valid settlement agreement according to French law and that the claimant was not entitled to further compensation other than the balance of the settlement amount. It was also recalled that the Commercial Court had held that since the claimants’ association had not suffered any damage falling within the scope of the 1992 Conventions its claim was inadmissible. It was further recalled that the claimant and the association had appealed against the judgement. It was recalled that the Court of Appeal in Rennes had in May 2006 confirmed the judgement of the Commercial Court with regard to the individual claimant, since having signed a full and final receipt and release agreement, he had lost his right to sue the Fund. It was also noted that the Court of Appeal had stated that the legal action by the union was admissible, since any trade union could be a party to legal proceedings to defend the general interests of the members of the profession it represented. It was further noted that the Court had recognised the right of the union to question in general terms the processes and modalities of compensation of fishermen and others deriving their income from the sea but that it should not deal with individual losses suffered by victims of the pollution. The Committee noted that the Court of Appeal had nevertheless dismissed the union’s claim, since it was not well founded. It was recalled that the claimants had lodged a further appeal before the Court of Cassation. The Executive Committee noted that the Court of Cassation had rejected the appeal holding that the settlement reached between the fisherman and the 1992 Fund was valid since it contained concessions by each party.