Liability for Defective Immovable Property: The Hammock Case in a Comparative Perspective

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Abstract

Can joint owners of a defective property - or an immovable object thereon - hold each other non-contractually liable for injuries suffered as a result of the defect? This is a question that has substantial societal effects and requires a somewhat legal-political solution. In 2010, the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) faced this exact dilemma in the Hammock case. Aside from examining that specific decision, this comparative law project ascertains how such a case would be resolved in six other European jurisdictions - Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, England, and Ireland. Is the solution reached in common law jurisdictions different than that in civil law jurisdictions? Or do completely divergent outcomes arise within similar legal systems? Will the outcome be different if the relevant rules are strict-based liability as opposed to fault-based liability? By contributing to this rather under-explored area of non-contractual liability law, this project sheds a welcome light on these questions. In doing so, it becomes evident that any legal-political solution to the Hammock scenario would entail ample debate among relevant academics and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Review of Private Law
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • COMPARATIVE LIABILITY LAW, PERSONAL INJURY, DEFECTIVE IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

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