Source of Grave Danger

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Source of Grave Danger


in law, an activity involving special danger for people in the area of the activity. The Basic Principles of Civil Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics of 1961 and the civil codes of the Union republics contain sample lists of sources of grave danger, which include the operations of transportation organizations, industrial enterprises, and construction sites and the use of motor vehicles. Organizations and citizens who have operational control or ownership of industrial equipment, means of transportation, and the like may be the possessors of the sources of grave danger. In addition, an organization or citizen is considered to be the possessor of a source of grave danger even when not its owner (or possessor with the right of operational control) if the organization or citizen is using the source of grave danger on some other legal basis (for example, by lease, by rental, or on trust). As a rule, such a possessor of a source of grave danger is directly responsible to the injured persons.

Unlike the general rule on liability, which establishes civil law liability only where the damage is caused through the fault of the perpetrator, the possessor of a source of grave danger becomes liable even in the absence of fault. The only persons not considered liable by the law are those who prove that the damage resulted from a force majeure or from the intent of the injured person.

The possessor of a source of grave danger is generally obligated to compensate the injured person fully for the damage caused. Exceptions to this rule are permitted only where the gross negligence of the victim himself facilitated the event or increased the damage. In this case, depending on the degree of fault of the victim (and depending on the degree of fault where the person causing the harm has been at fault), the amount of compensation must be reduced or all compensation must be rejected.

Where an enterprise is the possessor of sources of grave danger that are controlled (or used) by employees on the basis of labor contracts, the employees cannot be made liable for causing damage. The liability is borne by the possessor of the source of grave danger himself, who then has a right to demand that the worker compensate for the damage in the manner and amount provided for by labor law.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.