The lawsuit brought by a woman against a Quick restaurant in Reims did not go unnoticed, to say the least.
The plaintiff, Mrs. Nicole Borgnon, was injured after a fall in this restaurant and claimed that this fall would be due to the abnormal presence on the ground of a fries, on which she would have slipped. In repair, she asked for 50.000 € at the restaurant.
The press has largely echoed this case, not hesitating to give it an American color, a country where the judiciarization of life reaches peaks such as the amount of damages awarded by the courts.
Remember the “Libieck Vs. Mac Donald’s “, in which fast food was condemned in the US to pay nearly $ 600,000 to a woman who had burned with a coffee …
But Reims is not California and the result of the case “Borgnon vs. Quick “was much less spectacular: in a judgment of December 16 (1) (Download here), Nicole Borgnon was dismissed all his claims and must now support – rightly or wrongly – a reputation of sacred procedural.
Above all, his story has been derided by many people, including bloggers who have had a great time …
Are all these reactions deserved? Nothing is less certain … As for Madame Borgnon’s personality or her real motives in this affair, I am obviously unable to deliver the slightest opinion, not knowing her.
On the other hand, legally speaking, the case is far less extraordinary than it seems.
…for nothing ?
To appreciate objectively this case and to give back to this trial the dimension it deserves, let us try to appreciate the ins and outs: after a fall on a so-called fries, Mrs Borgnon suffered various injuries and then assigned the restaurant on the basis of Article 1384 para. 1 of the Civil Code, to obtain compensation for its damage.
According to her, this damage results from the obvious lack of maintenance of the store and from a failure of the restaurant to the obligation of security due to the customer.
Recall the terms of this famous article 1384 al. 1 of the Civil Code:
“We are responsible not only for the harm done by our own doing, but also for the damage caused by the people we have to answer, or the things we have in our custody.”
In application of this article, Mrs Borgnon’s appeal was absolutely not irrelevant and was, after all, rather banal.
Indeed one does not count the number of decisions of justice in France having recognized the responsibility of establishments (restaurant, shops …) following falls of people on slippery grounds, or on which dragged detritus … Legally, the store is responsible (“guardian”) for its soil and any detritus that may be there. Judges have, for example, many times condemned shops and restaurants as a result of falling customers on substances as diverse as salad leaves, honey or leek peels …!
Very recently, on December 31st, in a case similar to that of Mrs. Borgnon, a plaintiff (defended by the same lawyer as Mrs. Borgnon …) obtained the condemnation of Mc Donald’s of Coulommiers to pay him the sum from € 14,440 following a fall on a puddle of oil in the parking lot of the restaurant …
In terms of pure legal theory, there is no doubt that the responsibility for the restaurant Quick could have been committed following the fall of Madame Borgnon; the tribunal recognizes it unequivocally in its decision.