France: Direct action against the insurer

A direct action by a claimant against an insurer is admissible only if the insured at stake can still be held liable for the damage for which compensation is sought. In the present case, a court of first instance had exempted the insured from liability and the claimant had not lodged an appeal against this decision, which means that the ruling became final. The French Supreme Court held that although, in principle, an action against the insurer is admissible even if the insured is not a party to the proceedings, the admissibility of such an action is conditioned to the possibility to seek the liability of the insured. Since a final ruling had exempted the insured from liability, the direct action against the insurer was declared inadmissible (French Supreme Court, 3 October 2013, no. 12-25896).

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