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CJEU Case C-122/17 / Judgment

David Smith v Patrick Meade and Others

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (Grand Chamber)
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Approximation of laws — Insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles — Third Directive 90/232/EEC — Article 1 — Liability for personal injury caused to all passengers other than the driver — Compulsory insurance — Direct effect of directives — Obligation to disapply national legislation contrary to a directive — Non-application of a contractual clause contrary to a directive

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

EU law, in particular Article 288 TFEU, must be interpreted as meaning that a national court, hearing a dispute between private persons, which finds that it is unable to interpret the provisions of its national law that are contrary to a provision of a directive that satisfies all the conditions required for it to produce direct effect in a manner that is compatible with that provision, is not obliged, solely on the basis of EU law, to disapply those provisions of national law and a clause to be found, as a consequence of those provisions of national law, in an insurance contract.

In a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, a party adversely affected by the incompatibility of national law with EU law or a person subrogated to the rights of that party could however rely on the case-law arising from the judgment of 19 November 1991, Francovich and Others (C‑6/90 and C‑9/90, EU:C:1991:428), in order to obtain from the Member State, if justified, compensation for any loss sustained.