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Industrial risks and Insurance

Claims against Austrian authorities following corona outbreak in Ischgl

- Flash news

About six months after the outbreak of coronavirus in the ski resort of Ischgl, four test actions have been brought against the Austrian Republic on behalf of victims of corona. A consumer protection association from Vienna brought actions before the Landgericht Wien (Regional Court, Vienna) on behalf of three Germans and the surviving dependents of an Austrian who died of COVID-19. The claims for public liability relate, inter alia, to the reimbursement of costs, compensation for pain and suffering and liability for consequential damage, in particular for the long-term effects of a COVID-19 disease. Amounts of up to € 100,000 are being claimed.

The authorities are, in particular, accused of mistakes in reacting to the discovery of the first infections. According to the claimants, the closure of the ski resort has been declared too late compared to the knowledge that was already available about the risk of infection by the virus at that time. The announcement of the “immediate quarantine” in the area, which took place on 13th of March 2020, had then contributed to the chaotic departure of many tourists and thus to the further spread of the virus.

A total of more than 6,000 concerned persons from 45 countries are reported to have already contacted the Austrian consumer protection association to pursue their interests; more than 1,000 persons are reported to have instructed them to sue on their behalf. The four test cases could therefore be followed by other actions.

The association stressed that the lawsuits would be dropped if the government admitted mistakes and offered compensation.