It is reported that around 400 people exposed to coronavirus while on ski holidays to Austria are interested in joining a class action lawsuit against the ski authorities. Some say lawyers are circling before official investigations are concluded.

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It is alleged that the authorities allowed people to come to ski knowing there were cases of coronavirus.

The Austrian consumer protection Association (VSV) has appealed for people to join a legal action.

It claims 400 people, mostly Germans, have been in contact with their stories.

It is alleged by some that the authorities with control over the Tirolean resort of Ischgl were slow to respond after a barman in an apres-ski bar became infected.

Here at PlanetSKI we have written about the facts we know in this earlier report as Austrian investigators were called in this week to see if there are criminal charges that need further investigation.

They are examining whether there is a claim for “reckless endangering of people through infectious disease.”

VSV says it hopes to gather further witness statements and potentially bring a case on the basis that “the closure of skiable areas was delayed for commercial reasons.”

VSV is looking at people who were in the resorts of Ischgl, Paznauntal, St. Anton am Arlberg, Sölden or Zillertal,

Already there have been accusations that lawyers are jumping on a legal bandwagon.

Others claim if mistakes were made then those who made them should be held accountable for their actions.

Here is a copy of the letter that is being sent to people who were in the resorts in question, and that has been forwarded to us by a PlanetSKI reader:

Dear Coronavirus victims,

The global coronavirus pandemic qualifies as force majeure and nobody can be held responsible for any damage suffered. However, keeping ski resorts open, even though authorities knew or should have known of a threat of mass infection, is certainly a reason to consider claims for damages.

The Verbraucherschutzverein VSV (Consumer Protection Association) has therefore submitted a description of the facts to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Vienna against the Tyrolean authorities. The public prosecutor will have to examine whether something went wrong and if so, what exactly went wrong.

If you were at the ski resorts of Ischgl, Paznauntal, St. Anton am Arlberg, Sölden or Zillertal on 5 March 2020 or later, and shortly afterwards were diagnosed with the coronavirus, then you may be entitled to claim damages against the Tyrolean authorities and also against the Republic of Austria, provided we can produce evidence for negligence through relevant reports or in criminal proceedings.

Our aim is to put together a list of persons – at no cost for you whatsoever – who feel that they have been harmed and offer you regular information updates via newsletter. Once we have sufficient evidence for filing a lawsuit, we will make you a corresponding offer.
Stay healthy, or get healthy soon!

With best regards,
Peter Kolba
VSV Chairman

Here is the reaction from a PlanetSKI reader, recently in St Anton, and now recovering from suspected Coronavirus.

The reader went into self-isolation on return and then began showing the symptoms.

“I am not attracted to this. I would change my stance only if evidence emerges of active decisions being taken to gamble with visitors’ safety.

I’ve no evidence St Anton was irresponsible. Right now, seeking damages would feel like kicking a great resort when it’s down.”

It is likely the same accusations could be made against other ski resorts, where cases of coronavirus were known and yet guests still encouraged to visit.

There has been some reaction to the potential case over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Richard Mason I was in St Anton during the final week and shutdown. I can not even contemplate how anyone can think of taking action. This was a very fast moving situation dealing with a virus that is new and not fully understood. I my opinion the authorities acted responsibly and the Neilson staff were amazing at organising our return journey.

Frank Atherton Without doubt, lawyers bottom feeding again. They are like flies on shit. Smelling a completely unjustified ‘claim’.

Richard Jones Money!? Surely this is to do with public health? The resort knew they had an outbreak and kept quiet about it so they wouldn’t close!? They reckon the U.Ks first cases came from this resort and were missed back in Jan! This resort has a lot to answer for.

Paul Biffen I was in Salzburgerland Area the time and impressed how quickly they acted and closed down in mid March. Much more decisive and quicker than the UK and they are still ahead of where we are even now 3 weeks later!

Jonas Eliasson The smell of money brings out the worst in people…

Paul Biffen Ambulance chasers are circling already. Just the start for the pigs to get their snouts in the trough and try and litigate their way out of this.

Giorgio Marchesini they can do the hell they want, but the must recur to an Austrian tribunal…what do you think the tribunal will decide?!?

Nick Davies Disgusting … and the Lawyers have a lot to answer for ??

Pete Tyler Not sure we can blame Austria for sending us Covid. It was coming anyhow!

Holger Gassler I honestly question, who is money greedy.

Billy Mckay ? ? ????? That is all

Megan Frances Seriously.

Fiona Brackpool That’s disgusting.

Jon Newcombe I’m a little disappointed that this is being advertised. As if the worlds economy isn’t in enough trouble.

The only winners in these cases are the solicitors. Leeches.

Katherine Harvey When all nations are struggling their best with this unique situation and its financial repercussions, to try make money out of it seems immoral.

Gill Smith So sad when considering that this pandemic may result in people reconsidering overt materialism and considering others

Stephen Prescott Pathetic… the industry along with most others will suffer enough, why are you even advertising the message on their behalf PlanetSKI.eu ??

Julie Taylorson This is a sorry state of affairs ?disgusts me at a time when folk are critically ill , dying, people putting their lives on the line and business crippled that folk are so greedy and materialistic

And if you want to add your view then check out the postings on the PlanetSKI Facebook page