Austria

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austria: Supreme Court decides on travel insurance

In a recent judgement, the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) has held that an insurance company which has issued an insurance policy covering cancellation fees of a traveller in case of illness or injury cannot deny payment based on gross negligence of the traveller if the letter was injured in a car accident in which he did not have his sealtbelt fastened. Alhough the obligation to fasten seatbelts is important in car traffic, a violation of same only constitutes slight negligence and does therfore not relieve the insurance company from payment.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

CJEU Advocate General: a railway undertaking may not exclude refund of the ticket price in cases of force majeure

The EU Regulation 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations provides that a passenger who is facing a delay of one hour or more may request a partial refund of the ticket price from the railway company. This compensation is a minimum of 25% of the ticket price for delays of one hour to 119 minutes and a minimum of 50% for delays of two hours or more.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court decides on air carrier liability for checked baggage and exclusivity of the Montreal liability regime

The plaintiff's father was booked on a flight from Vienna to Istanbul, operated by the defendant. He intended to check two suitcases and keep a smaller bag as cabin luggage. Upon check-in the passenger was told that with regard to its size and weight the bag did not meet the requirements for cabin luggage. He was asked to open the bag and the airline staff at the check-in desk could see that it contained variuos documents, some jewellery, antiques and several spectacles.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austria: tour operator not allowed to use consumers' pictures for travel brochures

The plaintiffs, a married couple, took part in a package trip to Scotland organised by the defendant. At the occasion of a visit to the old blacksmith's shop at Gretna Green, a pretended wedding cermony was enacted in which the plaintiffs played the bride and the groom. The bus driver took pictures of this 'ceremony'.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court: airline and airport not liable for delay caused by snow on runways

In a case reported earlier, the Austrian Civil Supreme Court has now deleivered the final judgment. The plaintiffs had missed their Antarctica cruise following a delayed departure of their feeder flight to Frankfurt caused by snow covered runways at the Vienna airport. They sued the carrier and the airport for damages.

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ECJ: Rail passengers must be given information on main connecting services, whichever railway undertaking operates them

The (privately owned) railway undertaking Westbahn Management GmbH operates passenger rail transport services on the Vienna-Salzburg line in Austria. State owned ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG is the railway infrastructure manager in Austria and manages the major part of the Austrian rail network, including the Vienna-Salzburg line. It has at its disposal real-time data on the positions of all trains operating on the Austrian rail network it manages. The data is communicated to the various railway undertakings where it concerns those undertakings’ trains.

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Austrian Supreme Court: domain "hotel.eu" registered in bad faith

Shortly before the start of the registration for ".eu" domains, the plaintiff who was not active in the accomodation business had registered a mixed figurative and verbal trademark "HOTEL" which was only admitted because of the distinctive graphic design. Apart from that, the plaintiff had registered 30 to 40 generic tradmarks in Austria and acquired 180 domains consitsting of generic terms. In ADR proceedings pursuant to Article 22 of Reg. (EC) No 874/2004 the ADR panel held that the domain registration had been made in bad faith and therefore was speculative and abusive.

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Germany: Supreme Court decides on international jurisdiction with regard to letting of holiday homes

The plaintiffs, domiciled in Germany, had rented a holiday home in Belgium from a Danish tour operator (the defendant). They had several complaints about the condition of the home and claimed for a price reduction. Based on the consumer forum pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of the Brussels I-Regulation they filed their claim before their local court. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the claim on the ground of lacking international jurisdiction of German courts.

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Austria: reference for ECJ preliminary ruling on Brussels I-Regulation

The plaintiffs, both Austrian residents domiciled in Bludesch (Austrian Province of Vorarlberg), had booked a holiday package to Egypt organized by an Austrian tour operator located in Vienna. The booking was made online through the website of a German travel agency. By mistake of either the tour operator or the travel agency, they were booked to a different (but similary named) hotel than they had actually chosen. They filed a law suit against both, the travel agency and the tour operator, before their local court in Vorarlberg.

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CJEU: no distance contract required for consumer forum pursuant to Brussels I Regulation

Upon reference of the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH), the CJEU has held in its judgement of Sep. 6, 2012 in Case C-190/11 (Mühlleitner) that the consumer’s possibility of bringing proceedings before the courts of his Member State against a trader domiciled in another Member State is not subject to the condition that the contract was concluded at a distance.

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