French Woman Spent 3 Years Proving She’s Alive But Hasn’t Succeeded

Hanima Anand |Mar 29, 2021

Though she is there, kicking and alive, the authority hasn’t done anything to revert her death announcement. She has been considered ‘dead’ for 3 years till now.

The story sounds impossible but it does exist. Jeanne Pouchain was declared dead in 2017 though she was very much alive and in good health condition.

What happened?

Things started many years ago when Jeanne Pouchain, the 58-year-old woman from Saint-Joseph, was involved in a series of legal battles with her former employee.

When Pouchain’s company lost a major contract, they fired a former employee who then asked for $16,500 of damages. The industrial tribunal agreed that Pouchain’s firm must pay the former worker that amount of money.

Jeanne Pouchain 1
Pouchain's company didn't pay a former employee the damages before she was pronounced dead.

As the case was against the firm, not Pouchain, she didn’t reply to the employee to enforce the ruling. The worker didn’t receive any money from the company either.

In 2017, over a decade after the case, the disgruntled employee reported to the industrial tribunal that her letters to Pouchain were never answered and her former boss had died.

In November that year, the court to which she didn’t come declared she was dead. Her husband and son were ordered to pay the employee the damages.

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Jeanne Pouchain 2
She could hardly go out due to the lack of valid ID documents.

Reaction from Jeanne Pouchain

After the court announced Pouchain was dead, she could not use any of her documents, including identity card, driving license, health insurance, and even bank account. She used all her official records as well as certificates from the hospital about her health condition to prove her existence. However, these attempts didn't gain success.

Jeanne Pouchain 3
Jeanne Pouchain with her documents and court papers.

The 58-year-old woman criticized the former employee for inventing her death with an intention of winning damages from her heirs. The worker then argued that it’s Pouchain herself that faked her own death to avoid paying the money.

“I have no identity papers, no health insurance, I cannot prove to the banks that I am alive … I’m nothing. I went to see a lawyer who told me it would be quickly resolved as I had been to my doctor who certified that I was very much still alive. But because there had been a ruling, this wasn’t enough.”

Pouchain could hardly go out because she had no valid documents to prove her identity. Meanwhile, her lawyer hasn’t come up with any feasible solution to resolve this trouble quickly.

“It’s a crazy story. I couldn’t believe it. I never thought that a judge would declare someone dead without a certificate. But the plaintiff claimed Mrs Pouchain was dead, without providing any proof and everyone believed her. Nobody checked”

Jeanne Pouchain 4
The French woman had no idea of how to resurrect her existence.

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