Austria

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austria: discounts for elderly people in public transport must not apply from different ages for men and women

The Austrian Constitutional Court (VfGH) held that terms and conditions in public transport with regard to granting discounts for elderly people must not refer to different ages for men and women. Such differentiation is discrimiatory and cannot be justified by the fact that the retirement ages of men and women are still different. A discount for women at an earlier age than for men can neither be justified as a kind of compensation for disadvantages women face throughout their working life. (VfGH Dec. 15, 2010, V 39/10, V 40/10).

Stephan Keiler's picture

ECJ: Definition of a Package / Directing professional activities (International Jurisdiction)

In Cases C-585/08 (Pammer vs Schlueter) and C-144/09 (Hotel Alpenhof vs Heller) [remark: not joint but decided together] ECJ had to decide whether a so called passive website of a Hotel respectively a travel agent meets the requirement of 'directing professional activities' to the (other) EU member state where the consumer has his habitual residence (according to Art 15 Nr 1 lit c Brussels I Regulation). The question arises with respect to international (exclusive) jurisdiction.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court: no setting off of advance payments against disputable debts from previous season

Plaintiff (a Russian tour operator) assigned defendant (an Austrian incoming agent) to make hotel bookings in Austria. In 2008 when bookings were made on the occasion of the European Football Championship, plaintiff cancelled some of the hotel reservations which led to a dispute over cancellation fees. Finally defendant cancelled some of the disputed invoices and issued a new invoice which plaintiff subsequently payed. Expressing satisfaction over this settlement, plaintiff remitted the requested advance payments for the 2009 winter season.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austrian Supreme Court follows ECJ precedent with regard to hotel TV

An Austrian collecting society filed a law suit against a hotel company and claimed for rendering of accounts with regard to satelite TV provided to guests in defendant's hotel rooms. Both, court of first instance (Handelsgericht Wien) and apellate court (OLG Wien) granted the claim. In judgement 4 Ob 120/10s of Aug.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austria: Supreme Court decides on loss of holiday enjoyment again

Two youngsters booked a holiday package to Greece, mainly for the purpose of "having party". They therefore chose a beach hotel close to several bars, discos and other entertainment places. The tour operator, however, accomodated them in a different hotel, about 12 km away. They therefore had to take a bus or taxi to reach the entertainment places. They sued for price reduction, compensation of costs for taxi and bus trips as well as compensation for loss of holiday enjoyment.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Austria: Supreme Court decision on loss of holiday enjoyment

A couple booked a package holiday arrangement for their honeymoon in Egypt at EUR 1.448. Back home they complained about improper performance and assigned their claims to a consumer protection association (Verein für Konsumenteninformation - VKI) which sued for a price reduction of EUR 1.320,90 and compensation for loss of holiday enjoyment of EUR 560 (deducting a refund of EUR 141 by the tour operator).
Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Kaprun-Accident: Sentence of Acquittal confirmed

In November 2000 155 people - mostly tourists who went for skiing - died when a cablecar at the Kaprun Glacier burned down. The fire was caused by a defective radiant heater in one of the carriages. In February 2004 all of the accused (including directors of the cablecar company, the company which produced the cablecar and official experts who were responsible for the operating permit)were found not guilty because a danger of a fire had not been forseeable.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

No tour operator liability for an accident

No tour operator liability for an accident of a two year old boy who slipped through the banisters of the hotel stairs: in a recent decision Austria's Supreme Court confirmed judgements of lower instance courts who both had dismissed a claim for compensation for pain and suffering based on the allegation that the tour operator had not provided sufficient security for children. Supreme court held that an advertisement emphasising favorable family rates would not justify increased expectations in regard to child security. Contractual safeguard obligations must not be overdrawn.

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

Liability for an accident at a water slide

Liability for an accident at a water slide was repudiated by Austria's Supreme Court (OGH): a swimming baths offering a water slide was not obliged to provide permanent supervision by its staff or video cameras. A stoplight system regulating access to the slide and sliding instructions displayed directly at the entrance of the slide were sufficent security measures. Safeguard obligations of a swimming baths must not be overdrawn.

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