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garde/gardien de la chose/de la structure/du comportement

English translation: product liability / negligent use

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17:45 Apr 5, 2004
French to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law (general)
French term or phrase: garde/gardien de la chose/de la structure/du comportement
This has come up before, under "garde de la structure", but some up-to-date input could be useful. In a summary of litigation between a patient and a cigarette manufacturer, this comes up in several different forms. Here's the whole paragraph, with the terms starred. My feeling is to leave each of the phrases in French with a literal translation in parentheses, and let the full translation of the paragraph explain it. What do you think?

"Il se posait ensuite la question d’une responsabilité sans faute de la XXX [ciggy manufacturer] en sa qualité de *gardien de la chose* ayant causé le dommage, sur la base de l’article 1384 alinéa 1 du Code civil. Il faut en effet rappeler que la *garde de la chose* n’est pas seulement une notion matérielle mais juridique. Les juges et les auteurs distinguent en effet la *garde du comportement*, qui vise l’utilisation de la chose, et la *garde de la structure*, qui porte sur la matière composant la chose. Le fabricant d’un produit peut ainsi être considéré comme *gardien de la chose* qui présenterait un défaut dans sa structure, même s’il n’est plus en possession de celle-ci. Ainsi, un fabricant de soda qui met sur le marché des bouteilles susceptibles d’exploser du fait d’une bouteille fabriquée avec un verre peu épais sera responsable si la bouteille explose du fait de sa fragilité. Il reste *gardien de la structure*. La Cour de cassation, reprenant à nouveau l’argumentation de la Cour d’appel, reconnaît que le fabricant était *gardien de la structure* mais admet aussi que rien ne permettait d’indiquer un défaut de structure dans les cigarettes fabriquées par la XXX."
Dr Andrew Read
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:40
English translation:product liability / negligent use
Explanation:
You may have to change perspective - this doctrine seems to be specifically French, judge-made law based on an article in the Code Civil.
For instance, a manufacturer being "custodian" or the person controlling a product makes no sense in common law, once the thing has been released into other hands.

The distinction appears to correspond roughly to that between liability for a defective product and liability for use of the product, e.g. negligent use of a motor vehicle causing injury (resembling "garde du comportement"). In the latter case, "control" is a relevant term.

Selected response from:

Peter Freckleton
Australia
Local time: 19:40
Grading comment
Thanks, both of you as your answers were both useful in clarifying the meaning and that we're dealing with a specifically French concept. In the end, I used the French terms in italics with a very literal translation in brackets following, which makes sense in the specific context of a report on French law for international experts.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3liability of persons for things under their control
lenkl
2product liability / negligent use
Peter Freckleton


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
liability of persons for things under their control


Explanation:
A little complicated. As your text says, there are two notions implied in "garde de la chose", one being "garde du comportement" and which could be translated as liability of persons for the use made of something in their custody (or under their control) and the other being "garde de la structure" which refers to the liability of persons for the contents or nature of something in their custody or under their control.

I think that some European sources may use the terms "custody of structure" but I wouldn't do so without an explanation.

lenkl
Local time: 11:40
Works in field
PRO pts in category: 100
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1 day6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
product liability / negligent use


Explanation:
You may have to change perspective - this doctrine seems to be specifically French, judge-made law based on an article in the Code Civil.
For instance, a manufacturer being "custodian" or the person controlling a product makes no sense in common law, once the thing has been released into other hands.

The distinction appears to correspond roughly to that between liability for a defective product and liability for use of the product, e.g. negligent use of a motor vehicle causing injury (resembling "garde du comportement"). In the latter case, "control" is a relevant term.



Peter Freckleton
Australia
Local time: 19:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 59
Grading comment
Thanks, both of you as your answers were both useful in clarifying the meaning and that we're dealing with a specifically French concept. In the end, I used the French terms in italics with a very literal translation in brackets following, which makes sense in the specific context of a report on French law for international experts.
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