Bull.civ. 1997.I. no. 373, p. 253 (95-19119) Case Sedmeo v. Alke Gas Infrarood
16 December 1997
Translated French Cases and Materials under the direction of Professor B. Markesinis and M. le Conseiller Dominique Hascher
Translated by:
Tony Weir
Professor B. S. Markesinis

Cour de cassation:

In view of Article 1 of the Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the law to be applied in cases of liability for defective products;

Given that this text provides that the treaty applies only to liability in tort ;

Given that the court below held that the treaty mentioned conclusively determines the applicable law whenever the liability of the producer has a foreign element, as in the present case, where a French company, Sedmeo, having been held liable to a French consumer to whom it had sold a defective product sought an indemnity from Alke Gas Infrarood, a Dutch company, which had manufactured it;

Given that since the respective obligations of manufacturer and buyer are of a contractual nature, the court in so holding misapplied the treaty text mentioned above;

For these reasons…

QUASHES the decision of the Court of Appeal of Rennes in so far as it held Alke Gas Infrarood liable, and remands the case … to the Court of Appeal of Angers.

This note on subsequent developments reflects the legal situation as of October 2004.

Civ 1, 16 December 1997 :The Hague Convention on the law applicable to product liability only applies when the case is in its nature extra-contractual. This case law seems to have been abandoned since a judgment of the 7 March 2000 (Civ 1, Bull no 77) under the terms of which "Article 1 of the Hague Convention of the 2 October 1973, which determines the law applicable to the liability of manufacturers for harm caused by a product makes no distinction according to the nature of the liability incurred".

Translation by Raymond Youngs


Back to top

This page last updated Thursday, 15-Dec-2005 09:05:51 CST. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.