the State and the Cantal department condemned for a serious administrative error

Jean-Pierre Vidal with his lawyer, Me Jacques Verdier, on February 7.

After three years of proceedings, the State and the Cantal departmental council were ordered to pay 15,000 euros and 5,000 euros respectively to Jean-Pierre Vidal for the damage suffered for having believed, all his life, to have been born under X , when this was not the case.

An administrative error cost him his childhood and he was never able to meet his mother. At 65, Jean-Pierre Vidal sued the State and the civil department to obtain 400,000 euros in compensation.

“It is a satisfaction for the condemnation, but a dissatisfaction for the reparation. She is not up to the damage of a lifetime”, reacted his lawyer, master Jacques Verdier, after learning of the decision, on the evening of Monday April 4. The plaintiff announced his intention to appeal: “This is the sum that was offered to us at the beginning, in an amicable settlement. (…) I can not accept. There is still damage…”

DDASS error

Born September 4, 1956 in Saint-Flour (Cantal), Mr. Vidal was abandoned by his mother, plagued by financial difficulties, then placed with a nanny. Around the age of 8, he discovers that this nanny is not his biological mother. He then multiplies the host families, before being moved from home to home and then ending up on the street from the age of 16.

He tries several times to find out the identity of his parents, but his interlocutors at the DDASS, ancestor of the ASE (childhood social assistance), assure him that he was born under X and has no therefore not have the right to access his file.

In 2019, an inspector intrigued by her file seized the National Council for Access to Personal Origins (CNAOP) and the answer fell: the identity of her biological mother is not covered by secrecy. But it’s too late. Her mother died of cancer years earlier, in 1996.

At the hearing, at the beginning of February, his lawyer had denounced a ” mistake “pointed the “maliciousness of a number of people in the administration”and mentioned “unusual harm”. The defenders of the State and the department – which recovered in the 1980s the competence of the protection of children – had recognized a responsibility but rejected any malice, calling to assess this damage precisely.

The World with AFP

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