France: Widening of anxiety harm

Valid from: Nov. 18, 2019
Valid to: Dec. 18, 2019
Author: ftr

"Elargissement du préjudice d'anxiété"

According French regulations, previously recognized only to employees exposed to asbestos, anxiety harm can now be recognized for all employees exposed to a harmful or toxic substance.

The French Court of Cassation1 allows compensation for the injury of anxiety:

  • For employees exposed to asbestos;
  • More generally, for any employee who justifies an exposure to a harmful or toxic substance generating a high risk of developing a serious pathology.

To obtain this compensation, the exposed employee must prove:

  • have been exposed to a toxic or harmful substance with a high risk of developing a serious pathology;
  • Have suffered an injury due to anxiety:
  • An employer's failure to fulfill his safety obligation.

The employer, to be exempt, must prove that he has taken all the necessary preventive measures.

  1. Cass. , September 11, 2019, No. 17-24,879; No. 17-26,879; No. 17-18,311