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Green algae: justice dismisses state responsibility in the death of a jogger

2022-11-30T14:34:03.615Z

The victim's family had seized administrative justice in July 2019 to seek compensation from the municipality of Hillion, l



The administrative court of Rennes rejected all the claims for compensation from the family of Jean-René Auffray, a jogger who died in September 2016 in a mudflat overgrown with green algae at the mouth of the Gouessant (Côtes-d'Armor) , in accordance with the conclusions of the public rapporteur.

"The requests of the Auffray consorts are rejected," wrote the court in a decision dated November 25.

During the hearing of October 27, the public rapporteur Dominique Rémy had admittedly denounced the "deficiency of the State" in the proliferation of green algae in Brittany but considered that the "causal link" between the presence of algae and the death of the jogger "cannot be established, and the same applies to the responsibility of the State".

“Mr. Auffray died of sudden respiratory failure which could have been due to exposure to green algae or cardiac arrest,” he said.

Read alsoGreen algae: an environmental association files an appeal against the State

Aged 50 and a fan of trail running, Jean-René Auffray was found dead in Hillion on September 8, 2016, in the mud of the Gouessant estuary, which flows into the bay of Saint-Brieuc and where he had presumably ventured out to rescue his dog.

Upon learning the place of death, frequently subject to green tides, associations immediately wondered about the link with green algae which, when decomposing, emit hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a potentially fatal gas in high doses. .

“The autopsy report does not mention any other possible cause of death”

Two weeks after the events, the Saint-Brieuc prosecutor's office ordered the exhumation of the jogger's body for an autopsy and toxicological analyses.

Carried out too late, these had not however made it possible to clearly determine the causes of death, and the investigation had been closed without further action in April 2017.

VIDEO.

Decimated fish: "The algae absorb all the oxygen and asphyxiate the aquatic environment"

The family of the victim had seized administrative justice in July 2019 to seek compensation from the municipality of Hillion, the agglomeration of Saint-Brieuc and the State, claiming nearly 600,000 euros in compensation for the damage suffered. .

Me François Lafforgue, family lawyer, had meanwhile affirmed at the hearing that the presence of H2S was "proven on the site" thanks to "measurements made by associations" and that "the autopsy report does not state no other possible cause of death”.

Source: leparis

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