TITLE IV – OF ENGAGEMENTS FORMED WITHOUT AGREEMENTS, OR OF QUASI CONTRACTS AND QUASI OFFENCES
Art. 1. There are certain engagements formed without the intervention of any agreement, either on the part of him who obligates himself, or on the part of him towards whom he is obligated, such are those resulting from a fact personal to him who is obligated. Those engagements result either from quasi contracts or from quasi offences.
Art. 2. Quasi contracts are a man’s purely voluntary acts, from which results any kind of engagement towards another person, and sometimes a reciprocal engagement between the parties.
Art. 3. In the number of quasi contracts are not included those engagements which are formed involuntarily, such as those of tutors and other administrators, who cannot refuse the function confided to them, nor those which are formed between neighboring landholders; in all those cases the obligation results only from the authority of the law.
What concerns tutors has been made the subject of a particular title.— What concerns engagements between neighboring landholders, makes part of the rules relating to legal servitudes.
Art. 4. Quasi offences are a man’s acts on his part faulty, not liable indeed to be punished by the simple correctional or criminal police, but obliging him to make some reparation of the damage resulting from them.
SECTION I – OF THE QUASI CONTRACT
Art. 5. He who voluntarily takes upon himself to manage any business of another person’s, whether he has undertaken to do it with or without the knowledge of the latter, contracts a tacit engagement to continue the management he has begun, and to complete it until the master be able to see to it himself.
He subjects himself to all the obligations that would have resulted from an express agency given to him by the proprietor.
Art. 6. He who has interfered in one affair is not obliged to concern himself with another that is not connected with the former.
Art. 7. He is obliged to continue the management, even should the master happen to die before the business be brought to a conclusion, until the heir can undertake the direction of it.
Art. 8. In managing the business, he is obliged to use all the care of a prudent father of a family.
Yet where circumstances or friendship or of necessity have induced a person to undertake the management, that consideration may authorise the judge to mitigate the damages which may arise from the faults or the negligence of the manager.
Art. 9. Equity obliges the master whose business has been well managed, to comply with the engagements contracted by the manager, in his name; to indemnify the manager in all the personal engagements he has contracted; and to reimburse him all useful or necessary expences.
Art. 10. He who receives what is not due to him, whether he receives it through error or knowingly, obliges himself to restore it to him from whom he has unduly received it.
Art. 11. He who has received what was really due to him, but from a person who did not owe it, who paid in the belief that he did owe it, is obliged to restore it to him who made payment only through error.
The action of reclaim does not however lie in this case, if the creditor has suppressed his title in consequence of payment; but he who has paid, has recourse against the real debtor.
Art. 12. If there be any want of good faith on the part of him who has received, he is bound to restore not only the capital, but also the interest, or the proceeds from the day of the payment.
Art. 13. If the thing unduly received, is an immoveable property or a corporeal moveable, he who has received it, is bound to preserve it; and he is even responsible for its loss by fortuitous accident, if he has received it through want of good faith.
Art. 14. If he who has received bona fide, has sold the thing, he is bound to restore only the price of the sale.
Art. 15. He to whom the thing is restored, must allow, even to the person who possessed it, through a want of good faith, for all the necessary and useful expences that have been incurred for the preservation of the thing.
SECTION II – OF QUASI CRIMES OR OFFENCES
Art. 16. Every act whatever of man, that causes damage to another, obliges him by whose fault it happened, to repair it, even though the fault be not of the nature of those which expose to the penalties of simple or correctional police.
Art. 17. If water or any thing that may produce damage, be thrown upon a person passing by, from a house inhabited by several persons, those who inhabit the apartment from which the thing was thrown are alone responsible for the damage.
If the very person who throws it be known, he alone is liable; if he be not known, they are all jointly and severally responsible.
Art. 18. Guests transiently belonging in a house from which the thing was thrown, are not liable for damages, unless it be proved, that they threw it; but he who lodges there is responsible.
Art. 19. Every person is responsible not only for the damage which he has caused by his act, but even for that caused by his negligence or imprudence.
Art. 20. Every person is responsible not only for the damage which he causes by his own act, but also for that which is caused by the act of any person for whom he is answerable, or by any thing which is in his keeping.
The father, and after the death of the husband, the mother is responsible for the delinquency of their minor children.
Masters and principals are responsible for the delinquency of their servants and agents in the functions in which they have employed them.
Institutors of youth or artisans are answerable for the delinquency of their scholars or apprentices.
The above responsibility takes place only when the parents, masters or principals could have prevented the delinquency and have failed to do it.
They are considered to have been able to prevent the delinquency when it was committed through their neglect to watch over the conduct of those for whom they are answerable, or when it was committed in their presence.
The owner of an animal is responsible for the trespass or damage that the animal has caused, whether the animal was in his keeping or was strayed or runaway.
Art. 21. The master is, in like manner, answerable for the delinquency or damage committed by his slaves, although the fact has been committed out of his presence, or though he could not have prevented it, and cannot be reproached with negligence; but he may give up the slave to be sold that the price of him may serve to repair the damage caused, as is prescribed in the title of master and servant.
Art. 22. The owner of a house is responsible for the damage caused by its falling down, when that has happened in consequence of his not having kept it in repair, or through a defect in its construction.