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Liability for ProductsEnglish Law, French Law, and European Harmonization$
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Simon Whittaker

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198256137

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256137.001.0001

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Droit Privé: Delictual Liability for Fault and for the ‘Deeds of Things’

Droit Privé: Delictual Liability for Fault and for the ‘Deeds of Things’

(p.40) 3 Droit Privé: Delictual Liability for Fault and for the ‘Deeds of Things’
Liability for Products


Oxford University Press

How does liability for products fit into the traditional picture of the private law of delict? The answer is by no means straightforward, but there are two key points. First, liability for delictual fault has played a more restrained role in the imposition of liability for products in the civil (as opposed to criminal) process than its extraordinary breadth would suggest. Secondly, liability for the ‘deeds of things’ under article 1384 alinéa 1 of the Civil Code plays an important role in the pattern of liabilities for products; a role which is not affected by the implementation of the Product Liability Directive by the loi of 1998. In order to appreciate these liabilities, whether for fault or without fault, this chapter looks more closely at the notion of fault itself and at the institutional and procedural context in which it is imbedded. This context is also important for an understanding of the application of other important concepts on which liability is founded, notably defect, whether for the purposes of the law of sale or the loi of 1998. The chapter discusses defining and finding delictual fault, the restricted significance of delictual fault for liability for products, liability without fault for harm caused by things, reform of the law of motor vehicle accidents, and compensation for accidents at work.

Keywords:   delictual fault, liability, defect, harm, accidents, workplace accidents, compensation, French law, liability law

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