Tyrol sued for damages

Tyrol sued for damages – main image

Almost five thousand people, mainly from Germany, are demanding compensation from the Austrian authorities in Tirol for exposing people to a dangerous disease, as a result of negligence arising after learning about the first cases of coronavirus in the resort. The sum of damages can reach the amount of up to EUR 5 million.

The class action was filed by people vacationing in the ski resort of Ischgl in early March - sometimes referred to as the European COVID-19 hatchery.

The resort is the source of the disease?

Austrian Ischgl is one of the most popular and modern ski resorts in the Alps. In addition to the beautiful scenery and 239 km of ski slopes, 45 lifts and amazing offpiste areas, it offers countless clubs, discos, restaurants and pubs, as well as SPA resorts and exclusive hotels. No wonder that tourists from all over the world come there, apparently even half a million a year. Such high popularity also contributed to the spread of the disease. Even tourists from Israel or Singapore indicate that they are infected in a Tyrolean resort.


The office of the Tyrolean staroste, Gunther Platter, said that precautionary measures had started to be taken after authorities received a signal from Iceland. The first infections were discovered on March 5 in 15 people who had returned from winter holidays in Ischgl. Austrian officials found out which hotels Icelandic tourists were staying in, but found that none of the guests or employees of these establishments reported any flu-like symptoms. Then on March 7, the coronavirus was detected in a German bartender. The bar where he worked was disinfected and employees were isolated. Two days later the bar closed.


After this fact, the Tyrolean authorities ordered all people in Ischgl reporting symptoms of the flu to be tested for coronavirus. The next step was to close the catering facilities in Ischgl, and a few days later the resort authorities announced that the tourist season was over, which resulted in the closure of all lifts, snow parks and hotels (normally the ski season there is until the beginning of May). The entire Paznaun Valley, where Ischgl lies, was quarantined on March 13. Five days later, on March 18, local authorities issued a quarantine order for all 279 municipalities in Tyrol. Gunter Platter pointed out that "Tyrol was the first province in Austria to take such far-reaching steps".

Action taken too late

The Austrian Consumer Protection Association (VSV) said that action had been taken too late, however. On March 24, VSV filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office accusing the Tyrolean government of "human exposure to disease". The association informed tourists who were in Ischgl at the beginning of March about the possibility of claiming damages and joining a class action lawsuit against the Tyrolean authorities.

It didn't take long for a response. Approximately 2.5 thousand people applied within five days. people who most likely contracted the coronavirus in Ischgl. Most of them are Germany. Currently, the number of people who joined the lawsuit exceeds 5,000.


In the opinion of the association, the Tyrolean authorities made a lot of mistakes and shortcomings at the beginning, as soon as they received the news of the outbreak of the disease. Despite the known threat, they did not close down ski resorts, hotels and restaurants, thus allowing further infections.

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A lawyer who loves traveling. Always with a book on the go. I collect memories of the color, taste and smell of every place I visit.

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