In fact, there are many cases of annimals causing accidents, property damage, health and even the lives of others. Therefore, with the aim of minimizing this risk, raising awareness of animal management and timely protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the affected subjects and people, the Civil Code of Vietnam has regulations governing this issue. This article shall analyze the current civil law provisions on liability to compensate for damage caused by animals.
Liability of animal owners to compensate for damage
Firstly, in case the owner is directly managing and using the animal when the animal causes damage: The owner is responsible for compensation regardless of whether there is an error in the management of the animal and must compensate. all actual damage occurred to the aggrieved person, unless the owner and the victim agree otherwise on the level of compensation.
Secondly, if the animal is not managed when the animal causes damage, the owner must still compensate in the following cases:
The first case, when the owner transfers the right of possession and use to another person, Clause 1, Article 603 of the CIVIL CODE stipulates that “the person possessing and using the animal must compensate for damage during the time of possession and use of the animal.” animals, unless otherwise agreed. Thus, in principle, the responsibility for compensation for damage belongs to the person who is transferred the right to possess and use the animal. But if there is an agreement, the liability for compensation may belong to both parties or only to the owner.
The second case, according to Clause 2, Article 603 of the CIVIL CODE, both the third person and the owner are at fault for causing damage to the animals, the owner and the third party must be involved in compensating the person suffering the damage. . Example: Brother A is the owner of a dog. Mr. A let his dog loose on the street without a guide, without a mouthpiece according to the provisions of the law. Mr. B saw that he chased the dog with a stick, scared it, ran and bit Ms. C. In this case, both the owners, Mr. A and Mr. B, had to jointly compensate Ms. C.
The third case, according to Clause 3, Article 630, when an animal is illegally possessed or used, causing damage, the owner must jointly compensate if the owner is also at fault in managing the animal. The liability for compensation in this case arises from the violation of the owner’s property management obligations, because the owner does not manage the animal well, so it is illegally possessed, used and caused damages.
Thirdly, in case the owner let the animal loose according to custom (Clause 4, Article 603), when the animal causes damage, “the owner of that animal must compensate according to custom but must not be against the law, societal morality”. This provision aims to solve two problems: the subject of compensation for damage can only be the owner and the issue of compensation is applied according to local custom.
Liability to compensate for damage of persons assigned to possess and use animals
Persons assigned to possess and use animals are understood as those to whom the animal owner transfers the right to possess and use through civil transactions (lessee, borrower, animal keeper…), Their purpose can be to serve their needs (get traction, get eggs, milk …), receive a salary from managing the animals on behalf of the owner, etc.
According to Clause 1, Article 603, “the person possessing or using the animal must compensate for damage during the time of possessing and using the animal, unless otherwise agreed“. The liability to compensate for damage to the person assigned to possess and use the animal derives from the benefits they enjoy or the rights they exercise during the management and use of the animal. Example: Mr. A lends Mr. B a buffalo to plow. In the process of using, the buffalo eat Mr. C’s rice. Thus, Mr. B must compensate Mr. C because B is the animal manager.
In addition, according to the provisions of Clause 3, Article 603, when an animal is illegally possessed or used but the person assigned to possess it is at fault in allowing the animal to be illegally possessed or used, it must joint damages. In this case, their liability for damages stemmed from the fault of poor animal management.
Liability to compensate for damage of illegal possession or use
Illegal possessors and users are understood as those who possess and use other people’s animals without the basis of the provisions of law, namely that their possession does not belong to one of the following categories: the basis is specified in Article 165 of the CIVIL CODE and is not one of the subjects having the right to use property as prescribed in Articles 190 and 191 of the Civil Code 2015.
Regarding the mode of compensation, Clause 3, Article 603 stipulates that in principle, if an animal causes damage, the person who illegally possesses or uses it must compensate the whole amount. However, this illegal possessor and user can also jointly compensate for damage with the owner, possessor, and user of the animal if they are also at fault in the bad management leading to the animal husbandry. illegal possession or use. For example: A when grazing in the field without taking measures to tie up the buffalo, B passed by and saw that A’s buffalo was so beautiful, so he took it home. On the way, B stopped in front of a grocery store to buy things and left the buffalo outside untied so that the buffalo could walk freely and trample other people’s fields and gardens. In this case, both B and A are jointly liable for damages.
Liability for damages of a third party
The third person mentioned is the person who is performing the act of affecting and agitating the animal, causing the animal to cause damage. The animal in this case is not naturally causing damage but is simply performing an act of self-defense or fleeing from the influence of a third person. Liability to compensate for damage arises on the basis of an illegal act of a third party affecting animals.
The method of compensation in this case is specified in Clause 2, Article 603, whereby, if the third person is entirely at fault, causing the animal to cause damage to another person, the third person must make full compensation.
If the third person and the owner are both at fault, they must jointly compensate for the damage, in which the fault of the third person is an illegal act affecting the animal causing damage to the animal, the fault of the owner. Ownership is mismanagement of animals, creating opportunities for third parties to influence their animals. For example: In the construction site, people have posted a sign prohibiting grazing but A still grazes cows, B is a security guard of the construction site who used stones to scare away A’s cows, scared the cows to run and hit people acrossing the street. In this case, both the owner A and the third person who acts on the animal B must jointly compensate for the damage.
Grounds for excluding liability for damage caused by animals
The grounds for excluding liability for compensation for damage caused by animals are not only provided for in Article 603 of the 2015 CIVIL CODE but also in Clause 2, Article 584 of the 2015 CIVIL CODE with two grounds (if no agreement is reached). agreement and the law does not provide otherwise):
One is the force majeure event. Force majeure event is “an event that occurs objectively, which cannot be foreseen and cannot be remedied even though all necessary and permissible measures have been applied” (Clause 1, Article 156 of the CIVIL CODE). EVENT 2015).
Second, the aggrieved party is entirely at fault. For example: A teases B’s buffalo that is tied up in the yard and is rammed by the buffalo causing health damage, then A must be responsible for it, B will be excluded from the responsibility of compensating for damage in this case because of the fault. fully belong to A. In addition, if the aggrieved party is partly at fault, it is “not entitled to compensation for the damage caused by itself” (Clause 4, Article 584 of the 2015 CIVIL CODE).
Third, the third person who commits illegal acts, causing damage to animals, is completely at fault. The owner in this case does not have to compensate for the damage. The third person is the person who teases the animals so that the animals cause damage to others, the third person must compensate for the entire damage caused by the animals.
Above is a consulting article on “Liability for compensation of damage caused by animals” of Apra Law Firm. If you still have questions about the above issues and need to be answered, please contact the hotline for advice and support.
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