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Corona in Tyrol: Official liability & claiming damages from the state and hotels in Tyrol, Austria - Claim for damages, official liability and legal proceedings checked by your Austrian Attorney based on Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2

As reported in the international media like CNN and BBC many guest of Tyrolian ski resorts were tested positive for the coronavirus, or Covid-19 after their return home. According to many reports there are hundreds of people from all over Europe whose infections are traced back to e.g. Ischgl, some of them directly to Kitzloch, according to European authorities. Health experts say alarm bells were missed which results in a very good legal basis to claim for damages.

For all guest who visited the ski resorts / villages of Ischgl, Paznauntal, St. Anton am Arlberg, Sölden, Zillertal, Mayrhofen, Gerlos, Zell am Ziller and Aschau-Kaltenbach it is now advised to check which claims can be made. They may be entitled to claim for damages against the Tyrolean authorities and also against the Republic of Austria.

The right to compensation in Austria and the claim for compensation regarding Corona - Compensation in Austria according to ABGB, Corona-Legal-Check by an Austrian Lawyer

The so-called compensation law in Austria describes the sum of those norms that regulate when a victim can demand reparation from another for damage he has suffered.

In principle, everyone has to bear their own damage in Austria. Section 1311 ABGB regulates this.

In the case of damage, a distinction is made between financial loss and loss of profit (e.g. loss of earnings), and ideal damage that only occurs in the emotional world of the person concerned (e.g. compensation for pain and suffering, vacation pleasure).

As soon as the damage and damaging party are known, damage must be claimed within 3 years. In principle, claims for damages can be filed with the court within 30 years.

However, the law on damages gives exceptions to your own liability to pay damages, according to which the damage incurred can be claimed by another person. Compensation law in Austria regulates the conditions under which someone can demand another compensation for the damage incurred.

The preconditions for compensation law in Austria are based on the idea of a compensation function. If someone has suffered a certain damage and if this damage was wrongfully and culpably added by a damaging party, the injured party should receive some compensation for the damage suffered.

In principle, there are 4 prerequisites for the replacement of damage:

1. Damage: The basic prerequisite for a claim for damages is that damage has occurred.

2. Cause: A certain behavior is causal or causal if the damage would not have occurred without this behavior.

3. Illegality: An injured party acts illegally if he violates a law or requirement.

4. Fault: Behavior is reproachable if one could have expected legitimate behavior from the injuring party.

With regard to a possible claim for damages due to the Corona virus (Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2), the general rule according to the General Civil Code applies. Therefore, all 4 requirements such as damage, causation, illegality and fault must be met in order to be able to claim damages.

If a contracting party is unable to meet its contractual obligations due to the circumstances surrounding Corona, the other contracting party is likely to suffer damage. This damage was probably caused by the defaulting party. In most cases, the unlawfulness will also have to be affirmed due to the obligation to provide the service. Only in the last point of checking the requirements for a claim for damages, for which fault, could there be considerable legal uncertainties regarding the corona virus. This raises the question of whether the contracting party in arrears is actually able to fulfill the contract in any way due to the circumstances relating to Corona. The question may also arise as to whether the contracting party could and should not have taken better precautions.

It is therefore always necessary to examine the individual case and the individual contract by an attorney in Austria with regard to a possible claim for damages due to Corona in order to be able to reach a reliable conclusion here.

When it comes to corona, there could be complaints and processes relevant to tourism in Austria and especially Tyrol. This may also apply to accommodation providers, since the accommodation and accommodation is based on a civil law contract and this contract also results in so-called protection and due diligence obligations.

The accommodation providers or hoteliers must therefore protect their guests as best as possible against the risk of infection or illness. How extensive this protection is and whether a lawsuit is promising depends, among other things. depends on what was subjectively recognizable for the individual hotelier at that point in time and whether they behaved correctly in the respective situation.

For hoteliers or accommodation providers in Tyrol and Austria who have been known to have a corona disease and who did not act immediately, i.e. immediately informed the authorities and, if need be, closed the company, there can be massive liability for damages. If suspicion cases or cases of infection due to the corona virus were concealed by an accommodation company, liability will become even worse and may also have criminal consequences.

Damages and official liability according to the Official Liability Act (AHG) - Official liability for corona / corona virus in Austria, Corona-Legal-Check by an Austrian Attorney

The official liability law forms part of the compensation law and contains its own compensation right. The application of the AHG is - like the general law on damages - linked to the illegal and culpable addition of damage, as well as to the sovereign enforcement, whereby the illegal and culpable addition of damage must have been carried out by a body of the legal entity.

Regarding corona and official liability, the events in tourist areas, such as e.g. Ischlg, St. Anton, Zillertal etc. are of particular relevance. For example, according to media reports different mayors have already been asked by international media to comment on a rumored Corona case in well-known après-ski bars. An infection was said to have been known here at the end of February, but it had not been reported as required by law. Such rumors are circulating in relation to various tourism communities.

It has to be clarified by the public prosecutor's office in Innsbruck whether the authorities have deliberately acted too slowly to protect the Tyrolean tourism companies. The public prosecutor has already been involved in such cases in order to initiate a possible trial because of i.a. Check negligent risk to people from communicable diseases (presumption of innocence applies).

Official liability in relation to the incidents related to the corona virus could, in the case of e.g. Evidence that a facility such as a hotel, a bar or a restaurant is blocked too late constitutes an illegal behavior by the authorities and thus justifies an official liability claim. With the help of an attorney in Austria private individuals could then sue the state for damages.