Decision ID: 003528

In October 2008 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee noted that in July 2008 the Court of Appeal in Rennes had rendered a judgement in respect of a claim by a fish wholesaler for alleged losses in 2000, arguing that the pollution had spoiled the image of the quality of products sold by the claimant. It was recalled that the 1992 Fund had rejected the claim on the grounds that the claimant had not proved any loss and that there was no link of causation between the alleged loss and the contamination since the claimants business was located outside the affected area, there was no dependence on the affected resources and there were alternative sources of supply. It was also recalled that the Commercial Court in Quimper had in a judgement rendered in April 2007, after having stated it was not bound by the 1992 Fund’s admisiblity criteria and that it was for the Court to interpret the concept of ‘pollution damage’ and to apply it in each indfividual case, had considered that even if the claimant’s business was not strictly located in the area affected by the pollution, an official study had indicated that there had been a market disaffection towards sea produce, and therefore a loss of income in the related sector. It was noted, however, that the Commercial Court had concluded that the claimant had not proved any losses and had for that reason rejected the claim. The Executive Committee noted that the Court of Appeal had considered the criteria set out in the 1992 Fund’s Claims Manual and had stated that even if these criteria were not binding on national courts, the judge may use them as a reference. It was noted that the Court had stated that the claimant had exercised his activities in areas outside those affected by the pollution (lack of geographic proximity), that the claimant’s purchases came mainly from regions not affected by the pollution (weak degree of economic dependence) and that the claimant’s clents were distributed over the whole of France (alternative business opportunities). It was also noted that the Court of Appeal had held that there was not a sufficiently close link of causation between the alleged losses and the pollution and that the claimant was not entitled to compensation from the 1992 Fund.

Date: 30.09.2008
Categories: Legal actions, Pure economic loss (fisheries and mariculture)
Subjects: Judgements in respect of claims for pure economic loss, Admissibility criteria, Link of causation between the loss and the contamination, Loss of income due to loss of confidence of buyers/consumers of marine products, Loss of income from fish sales and fish processing due to lack of supply as a result of contamination