Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Custodian Liability

  • Jef De MotEmail author
  • Louis Visscher
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_541


Liability of a person for losses caused by an object under that person’s control.

The Law on Custodian Liability

Custodian liability means that a person is liable for losses caused by an object under that person’s control. It has its origins in the French law (Wagner 2012). Article 1384(1) of the French Code Civil states that a person is responsible for the damage caused by things in his custody. Originally, this phrase was not intended as a separate cause of action but merely as a reference to the provisions 1385 and 1386 CC, which respectively hold keepers of animals and owners of buildings liable for damage caused by animals or defective buildings. Some landmark judgments by the Cour de Cassation however transformed this statement into the legal basis for making custodians liable for damages caused by objects of any kind. A claimant needs to show that the thing has contributed to the realization of the damage. A thing includes all inanimate objects. It can be dangerous...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postdoctoral Researcher FWO, Faculty of LawUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics (RILE)Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands