Austria: duty to warn at dry toboggan run

Plaintiff, a man of about 110 kilogramme took a dry toboggan ride with his daughter. Even though the toboggan run complied with technical standards and relevant laws, braking efficiency was poor at steep parts if total weight exceeded 120 kilogramme. When arriving at such steep part, plaintiff tried to slow down the toboggan by using the brakes. As he saw no effect he paniced and screamed. The man at the toboggan in front heard the scream and stopped. Few moments later plaintiff’s toboggan drove against the one of the man in front and plaintiff was injured severely.Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) held that even though plaintiff could have had a safe ride despite low braking efficiency, the operating company was liable for the injury caused by plaintiff’s panic reaction and improper attempt to assistance by the man in front because of not having warned of limited braking efficiency.Judgement 5 Ob 52/09x of April 28, 2009 available in German here>>.

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