CE, 10 Février 1905, p. 139 Case Tomaso-Grecco
10 February 1905
Translated by:
Professor Bernard Rudden
Professor B. S. Markesinis

10 February 1905

Conseil d’Etat.

May the State be declared liable for damage caused by the fault of its agents committed during a police action? Affirmative answer. In the case, the claim of a citizen, wounded by a shot alleged to have been fired by a gendarme at an escaped bull, was rejected for two reasons: it was not proved on the one hand that the shot was fired by the gendarme, and, on the other hand, that the accident was to be attributed to a public service fault such as to entail the liability of the State.

Procedure: summary application; further particulars. A petition setting out the facts relied on as giving rise to the liability of the State is acceptable even if further particulars designed to amplify it are filed out of time.

Having seen the request presented by Mr Tomaso-Grecco, stonemason, . . . that it please the Council to annul a decision of 29 April 1902 whereby the Minister of War rejected his claim for compensation in respect of an accident of which he was a victim on 15 January 1901 at Souk-el-Arba (Tunisia);

And to do so seeing that a crowd rushed in pursuit of a mad bull; that a shot was fired which wounded the applicant who was inside his house; that this wound is the act of a gendarme who fired despite the order of his superior officer, and that, in conceding that the shot which hit the applicant was fired by a person unknown, the State is liable for an accident which it could have prevented by a better organized police service; that the loss sustained by the applicant is the result of a stay in hospital and loss of working capacity; and to order the Minister of War to pay compensation of 15,000 francs with compound interest from 15 January 1901; and, further, to order the Minister to pay the costs;

Having seen the Decree of 22 July 1806 and the Act of 24 May 1872;

On the plea in bar set out by the Minister: Considering that the application sets out the facts relied on by Mr Grecco as giving rise to the liability of the State; that it thus meets the conditions laid down by article 1 of the Decree of 22 July 1806;

On the merits: Considering that the investigation does not establish that the shot which hit Mr Grecco was fired by gendarme Mayrigue, nor that the accident of which the applicant was the victim can be attributed to a public service fault for which the Administration would be liable; that hence Mr Grecco is not entitled to require the annulment of the decision whereby the Minister of War refused him compensation. (Reject)

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