Child sued for skiing accident in Austria

30th August 2015, by Abi Butcher

A child in Austria is being sued for causing an accident on the ski slopes

A child in Austria is being sued for causing an accident on the ski slopes

A court in Austria will consider whether child skiing on a school trip is responsible for causing an accident that has left an adult woman “seriously injured”.

A six-year-old child is being sued for €38,000 after allegedly making a sudden turn into the path of an adult woman on the slopes of Bregenzerwald near the border between Germany and Austria. The woman claims she has been unable to ski since, and is suing the child for compensation of around £25,000 for future damages that might occur as a result of the incident.

The case opened last Monday in the Feldkirch Provincial Court in Voralberg, Austria, and was postponed for three weeks to allow for more evidence to be gathered.

The woman’s lawyers claim she was seriously injured and has not been able to ski since. She is also suing for compensation to cover future damages that might occur as a result of the accident. None of the parties involved have been named because of the strict privacy laws in Austria.

The case is unusual in that children under the age of 14 cannot normally be held responsible under Austrian law.

“In the first instance, supervisors such as parents or ski instructors would be sued for negligence of their responsibility of oversight,” Claudia Hagen, a spokesman for the court, told Austria’s APA news agency.

But an exception can be made if the child was capable of understanding the consequences of his or her actions. Now the court has to decide whether this is the case.

According to a local paper, evidence given in court last Monday suggested both parties were not paying enough attention before the accident and were both partly to blame. The case will resume in three weeks time, but if successful, is likely to set a precedent on skiers’ responsibility for safety on the slopes. 



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