COUR de CASSATION (Civil Chamber, First Civil Section)
23 October 1957
Dalloz 1957.J 729
The Court: On the first ground of review:--Considering art. 1382 Code civil;--Given that this text, though in principle inapplicable to fault committed in the performance of a contractual obligation, applies fully to those who are not parties to the contract;--Given that it follows from the reasoning of the judgment below ( Lyons, 12 May 1949) that on 24 April 1946 M. and Mme Delaplace formally granted Zucker an option to buy a property of theirs in Saint-Etienne, the document providing that during the period of the option, which was to remain open until 31 December, the grantors could not 'without the agreement of the potential buyer burden the property with any right prejudicial to the property agreed to be sold';--Given however that on 25 July 1946 the Delaplaces, pursuant to an option dated 12 February 1945 and open for fifteen years, granted Souvignet a lease until 1954 of part of those premises, namely a garage which he already occupied;--Given that in his appeal Zucker sought damages against Souvignet for 'simple fault' as well as confirmation of the judgment below which invalidated the lease of 25 July 1946 on the ground of a fraudulent concert between Delaplace and Souvignet, designed to burden Zucker with an unusual charge;--Given that the court below failed to consider the delictal 'fault' with which Souvignet is charged and referred only to art. 1167 Code civil, while finding that Souvignet was aware of the existence of the option to buy, a finding which by itself precludes the possibility of good faith; that accordingly its decision lacks legal basis:
For these reasons quashes the decision and remits the case to the Court of Appeal of Grenoble.