Ski Helmets Can Make a Vital Difference: Va. Beach Woman Killed in Austrian Skiing Accident Collision | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The family and widower of Beata Christandl obtained a small, nominal recovery in wrongful death/negligent homicide ruling from a Austrian court relating to her death in an unusual skiing accident that occurred in Austria. Dieter Althaus, a German state governor, was skiing in the wrong direction at an intersection of two ski slopes when he collided with Christandl. She was not wearing a ski helmet, and he was. She died as a result of her injuries. Altaus was essentially convicted of negligent homicide and ordered to pay $6300, together with $41,550 in fines. Is this Austria’s form of full compensation for an admitted wrongful death? Clearly, there is something lacking in the court award, but it is unclear how involved the family was in the Austrian court case, and it appears that this action was more a restitution action than what in the USA is called a wrongful death case.

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