Wrongful Acts Sections 420 – 452

TITLE V

WRONGFUL ACTS

CHAPTER I

LIABILITY FOR WRONGFUL ACTS

Section 420. A person who, willfully or negligently, unlawfully injures the life, body, health, liberty, property or any right of another person, is said to commit a wrongful act and is bound to make compensation therefore.

Section 421. The exercise of a right which can only have the purpose of causing injury to another person is unlawful.

Section 422. If damage results from an infringement of a statutory provision intended for the protection of others, the person who so infringes is presumed to be in fault.

Section 423. A person who, contrary to the truth, asserts or circulates as a fact that which injurious to the reputation or the credit of another or his earnings or prosperity in any other manner, shall compensate the other for any damage arising therefrom, even if he does not know of its untruth, provided he ought to know it.

A person who makes a communication the untruth of which is unknown to him, does not thereby render himself liable to make compensation, if he or the receiver of the communication has a rightful interest in it.

Section 424. The Court, when given judgment as to the liability for wrongful act and the amount of compensation, shall not be bound by the provisions of the criminal law concerning liability to punishment or by the conviction or non-conviction of the wrongdoer for a criminal offence.

Section 425. An employer is jointly liable with his employee for the consequences of a wrongful act committed by such an employee in the course of his employment.

Section 426. The employer who has made compensation to a third person for a wrongful act committed by his employee is entitled to reimbursement from such employee.

Section 427. The two foregoing sections shall apply mutatis mutandis to principal and agent.

Section 428. An employer is not liable for damage done by the contractor to a third person in the course of the work, unless the employer was at fault in regard to the word ordered or to his instructions or to the selection of the contractor.

Section 429. A person, even though incapacitated, on account of minority or unsoundness of mind is liable for the consequences of his wrongful act. The parents of such person are, or his guardian is, jointly liable with him, unless they or he can prove that proper care in performing their or his duty of supervision has been extended.

Section 430. A teacher, employer or other person who undertakes the supervision of an incapacitated person either permanently or temporarily, is jointly liable with such person for any wrongful act committed by the latter whilst under his supervision, provided that it can be proved that he has not exercised proper care.

Section 431. In case falling under the two forgoing sections the provisions of Section 426 apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 432. If several persons by a joint wrongful act cause damage to another person, they are jointly bound to make compensation for the damage. The same applies if, among several joint doers of an act, the one who caused the damage cannot be ascertained.

Persons who instigate or assist in a wrongful act are deemed to be joint actors.

As between themselves the persons jointly bound to make compensation are liable in equal shares unless, under the circumstances, the Court otherwise decides.

Section 433. If damage is caused by an animal, the owner, or the person who undertakes to keep the animal on behalf of the owner, is bound to compensate the injured party for any damage arising therefrom, unless he can prove that he has exercised proper care in keeping it according to its species and nature or other circumstances, or that the damage would have been occasioned notwithstanding the exercise of such care.

The person responsible under the foregoing paragraph may exercise a right of recourse against the person who has wrongfully excited or provoked the animal or against the owner of another animal which has caused the excitement or provocation.

Section 434. If damage is caused by reason of the defective construction or insufficient maintenance of a building or other structure, the possessor of such building or structure is bound to make compensation, but if the possessor has used proper care to prevent the happening of the damage, the owner is bound to make compensation.

The provisions of the foregoing paragraph apply correspondingly to defects in the planting or propping of trees or bamboos.

If in cases of the foregoing two paragraphs there is also some other person who is responsible for the cause of the damage, the possessor or owner may exercise a right of recourse against such person.

Section 435. A person who is threatened with an injury from a building or other structure belonging to another is entitled to require the latter to make necessary measures for averting the danger.

Section 436. An occupier of a building is responsible for damage arising from things which fall from it or are thrown into an improper place.

Section 437. A person is responsible for injury caused by any conveyance propelled by mechanism which is in his possession or control, unless he proves that the injury results from force majeure or fault of the injured person.

The same applies to the person who has in his possession things dangerous by nature of destination or on account of their mechanical action.

CHAPTER II

COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL ACTS

Section 438. The Court shall determine the manner and the extent of the compensation according to the circumstances and the gravity of the wrongful act.

Compensation may include restitution of the property of which the injured person has been wrongfully deprived or its value as well as damages for any injury caused.

Section 439. A person who is bound to return a thing of which he has deprived another by a wrongful act is also responsible for the accidental destruction of the thing, or for accidental impossibility of returning it arising from any other cause, or for its accidental deterioration, unless destruction or the impossibility of returning it or the deterioration would have happened even if the wrongful act had not been committed.

Section 440. If on account of the taking of a thing its value, or, on account of damage to a thing, its diminution in value is to be made good, the injured party may demand interest on the amount to be made good from the time which serves as the basis for the estimate of the value.

Section 441. If a person bound to make compensation for any damage on account of the taking or damaging of a movable compensates the person whose possession the thing was at the time of taking or damage, he is discharged by so doing even if a third party was the owner of the thing, or had some other right in the thing, unless the right of the third party is known to him or remains unknown in consequence of gross negligence.

Section 442. If any fault of the injured party has contributed in causing the injury, the provisions of Section 223 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Section 443. In the cause of casing death, compensation shall include funeral and other necessary expenses.

If death did not ensue immediately, compensation shall include in particular expenses for medical treatment and damages for the loss of earning on account of disability to work.

If on account of the death any person has been deprived of his legal support, he is entitled to compensation therefore.

Section 444. In the case of an injury to the body or health, the injured person is entitled to receive reimbursement of his expenses and damages for total or partial disability to work, for the present as well as for the future.

If at the time of giving judgment it is impossible to ascertain the actual consequences of the injury, the Court may reserve in the judgment the right to revise such judgment for a period not exceeding two years.

Section 445. In the case of causing death, or of causing injury to the body or health of another, or in the case of deprivation of liberty, if the injured person was bound by law to perform service in favour of a third person in his household or industry, the person bound to make compensation shall compensate the third person for the loss of such service.

Section 446. In the case of injury to the body or health of another, or in the case of deprivation of liberty, the injured person may also claim compensation for the damage which is not pecuniary loss. The claim is not transferable, and does not pass to the heirs, unless it has been acknowledged by contract, or on action on it has been commenced.

Section 447. Against a person who has injured the reputation of another, the Court may, on the application of the injured person, or order proper measures to be taken for the rehabilitation of the latter’s reputation, instead of, or together with, compensation damages.

Section 448. The claim for damages arising from wrongful act is barred by prescription after one year from the day when the wrongful act and the person bound to make compensation became known to the injured person, or ten years from the day when the wrongful act was committed.

However if the damages are claimed on account of an act punishable under the criminal law for which a longer prescription is provided such longer prescription shall apply. 

CHAPTER III

JUSTIFIABLE ACTS

Section 449. A person who, acting in lawful defence or under a lawful command, has caused injury to any other person is not liable to make compensation.

The injured person can claim compensation from the person against whom the lawful defence was directed, or from the person who wrongfully gave the command, as the case may be.

Section 450. If a person damages or destroys a thing in order to avert an immediate common danger, he is not liable to make compensation, provided the damage done is not out of proportion to the danger.

If a person damages or destroys a things in order to avert an immediate individual danger, he shall make restitution therefore.

If a person damages or destroys a thing in order to protect the rights of himself or of a third person against immediate danger threatened by the thing itself, such person is not liable to make compensation, provided the damage done is not out of proportion to the danger. If the danger was caused by such person’s fault he is liable to make compensation.

Section 451. A person who uses force for protecting his right is not liable to make compensation if under the circumstances the help the Court or of the proper authorities is not obtainable in due time and there is danger that, if he does not act immediately, the realization of his right will be frustrated or seriously impeded.

The using of force according to the foregoing paragraph must be strictly limited to that which is necessary for adverting the danger.

If any person does the act specified in the first paragraph under the erroneous assumption that the necessary conditions exist to render his act lawful, he is liable to make compensation to the other person, even if the error was not due to his negligence.

Section 452. A possessor of an immovable property is entitled to seize animals belonging to another person which cause injury on such property and retain them as security fro any compensation which may be due to him, he is even entitled to kill them if it is necessary under the circumstances.

However he must give notice without delay to the owner of the animals. If the owner could not be found the person seizing must take proper measures to seek him out.

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