Decision ID: 003521

In June 2008 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee noted that the Commercial Court in Saint Nazaire had rendered a judgement in respect of a claim by a company selling, hiring and repairing boats and accessories for losses suffered as a result of the Erika incident. It was noted that the 1992 Fund had assessed and settled the part of the claim relating to the sale of accessories. It was also noted that as regards the part of the claim relating to the sale of boats the Fund had considered that the purchase of boats was a long term investment and that it was unlikely to be permanently affected by the consequences of an oil spill since at most the decision to purchase a boat might be postponed and had rejected that part of the claim on the grounds that it had not been proved that there was a sufficiently close link of causation between this loss and the contamination caused by the Erika incident. It was noted that the Court had appointed a court expert to assess the loss related to the sale of new boats and that the expert had assessed the loss at €42 504. The Committee noted that the Commercial Court, after having made a reference to a statement by the Court of Appeal in Rennes in a previous judgement that it was for the Court to interpret the concept of ‘pollution damage’ in the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions and to apply it to the individual claim by determining whether there was a sufficiently close link of causation between the event that lead to the damage (‘le fait générateur’) and the losses suffered, accepted the assessment made by the court expert and awarded the claimant the assessed amount. It was noted that the Court had appointed the same expert to assess the other items claimed, such as the losses relating to the sale of second hand boats, trailers and electronic material. It was noted that the Director had appealed against the judgement, since he considered the method of calculation and the conclusions reached by the expert questionable.

Date: 31.05.2008
Categories: Pure economic loss (tourism), Legal actions, Application of the Conventions
Subjects: Admissibility criteria, Assessment of quantum, Judgements in respect of claims for pure economic loss, Link of causation between the loss and the contamination, Loss of sales of durable goods, Interpretation of 'pollution damage' in Article I.6 of the 1969 and 1992 Civil Liability Conventions, Losses suffered by non-tourism businesses and activities