who is responsible for slips?

MGoing on a “step”, a kind of small step, then going down, at a sustained pace, allows you to burn calories, and to sculpt the muscles of your buttocks. Provided however that the step is well fixed to the ground… Which is not always the case, as the following case shows.

On September 11, 2014, Mme X takes part in a “Zumba step” class at a Marseille sports club. The step is placed on the floor, without anti-slip protection. After a while, while Mme X puts his foot on it, he slides forward. She falls on her right wrist, which breaks.

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When his wound has consolidated, Mr.me X assigns the company MMA, which insures the club, so that it compensates it for its damages (approximately 35,000 euros). Acting on the basis of article 1147 (old) of the Civil Code, now 1231-1, it affirms that the sports association has not respected its contractual security obligation, by not requiring each participant to place a non-slip mat under its step, to ensure its stability.

“Slippery parquet”

She emphasizes the fact that a week after her accident, protective mats were placed under all these devices to prevent them from slipping on the floor.

MMA replies that the sports association is only bound by an obligation of security of means, and not of result, given the active role of the participants, who must ensure to put their foot in the center of the march to avoid be destabilized during ascents and descents.

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She maintains that Mme X obviously made the wrong move which led to his fall. It ensures that the step is designed to be placed directly on the ground and not on a carpet, which could increase the risk of falling.

The Marseille high court ruled in his favor on January 7, 2020. Mr.me X appeals and produces several testimonials from participants who attest to the character “Slippery” parquet and the fact that the steps were not equipped with non-slip rubbers.

“Dynamism of the movement”

The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal ruled on June 17, 2021 that the fall of Mr.me X “Finds its origin in the fact that a device, namely the step which it was using, slipped on a floor which was itself slippery”. She specifies that “The dynamism of the movement [du participant] requires this device to have sufficient stability ”.

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However, she notes, “The three testimonials produced demonstrate that the floor, which is a parquet (…), was particularly slippery and that the step apparatus was not provided in its part in contact with the ground with any non-slip foam”. She concludes that “This combination of failures establishes that the sports association has failed in its obligation of security of means”.

She reformed the judgment and declared MMA entirely responsible for the consequences of the accident.