Status: 17.09.2021 1:20 p.m.
A series of failures by the state and municipality or faultless action by the authorities? This question needs to be clarified during the first trial of the corona outbreak in the Tyrolean ski resort of Ischgl. Austria rejects the allegations.
In the first trial of the momentous corona outbreak in the Tyrolean ski resort of Ischgl, the Austrian state rejected an amicable solution and settlement negotiations. The Republic is of the opinion that the government and authorities acted correctly with the knowledge of the virus at the time. The lawsuit was therefore unfounded – this became clear at the start of the proceedings.
Before the Vienna Regional Court, the widow and son Ulrich Schopf of an Austrian who died of Covid-19, who is said to have been infected when he left Ischgl, are demanding around 100,000 euros in damages from the state. “My concern is justice,” said the son on the sidelines of the trial. “If there is compensation, we will of course spend the money,” he said, referring to charitable organizations. The widow did not take part in the trial, which was accompanied by a large media presence.
First process of corona outbreak in the party ski resort of Ischgl
Christian Limpert, ARD Vienna, Tagesschau 4:00 p.m., September 17, 2021
A whole series of failures
With the sudden closure of the ski resort in March 2020, the lawyer for the bereaved, Alexander Klauser, sees a whole series of omissions by the authorities. In his opinion, this would have led to Ischgl and the surrounding area becoming a corona hotspot. According to Klauser, authorities reacted too late to the first infections and did not implement health measures adequately. In addition, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had a quarantine for Ischgl on March 13th without any preparations.
Thousands of vacationers fled uncontrolled and crowded together. “Those who had not been infected with the corona virus the week before were now infected in overcrowded cars and ski buses,” Klauser told journalists. According to their own information, more than 6000 people from 45 countries contracted the virus in Ischgl and other Tyrolean holiday destinations last year. About five percent of them suffer from a long-term Covid infection.
Complainant lawyer Alexander Klauser (right), Peter Kolba from the Austrian consumer protection association (middle) and their client Ulrich Schopf (left)
“Authorities multi-organ failure”
According to the Austrian Consumer Protection Association (VSV), the complaints of those affected, 32 of the thousands of people affected died. VSV boss Peter Kolba spoke on the RBB-Inforadio of a “multi-organ failure of the authorities”. “It starts at the community level, continues through the district and the state to the federal government.”
It is the first of 15 lawsuits from Austrians and Germans that accuse the authorities responsible for serious errors in dealing with the pandemic. It is expected, however, that a total of up to 3000 claims will be made against the state.