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BGH: In case of an emergency in the classroom, however, pupils still have to provide evidence
In any case, sports instructors must provide first aid in the event of an emergency and also have current training for this. This was requested on Thursday, April 4, 2019, by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe (Az .: III ZR 35/18). Inadequate or omitted help can then be a breach of official duty that is subject to compensation. However, schoolchildren with an accident remain in the burden of proof for damage to health.
A 18-year-old student from Wiesbaden had sued. He had stopped warm-up training in physical education in January 2013 and held onto the side wall of the sports hall. There he then slid into a sitting position and no longer responded to the speech. The sports teacher called an emergency doctor. The arrived after eight minutes and immediately started with resuscitation measures. How long the student had breathed is controversial.
The former student was diagnosed with brain damage due to lack of oxygen, but the exact cause remained unclear. He is 100 percent severely disabled today.
With his lawsuit, he claims that the sports teacher should have started first aid immediately. He demands half a million euros in pain and suffering, a good 100,000 euros in damages and a monthly pension of 3,000 euros from the State of Hesse as the teacher's employer.
The state of Hesse defended itself against the claim that the cardiac arrest did not occur until shortly before the emergency doctor arrived. In addition, the teacher as "emergency worker" only has to be held liable for gross negligence.
The BGH now emphasized that physical education always had certain dangers, so sports teachers had to expect emergencies and be prepared for them. The liability privilege for emergency workers, on the other hand, should protect citizens who spontaneously provide first aid to strangers.
Due to the liability privilege, according to the law, spontaneous emergency helpers are only liable in the event of gross negligence. This is to prevent citizens from not helping at all out of fear of making mistakes.
After the Karlsruhe judgment, however, sports teachers cannot rely on this. They are not "uninvolved", willingness to help is part of their professional duties. In addition, the students are obliged to take part in physical education. That is also why it would be “not appropriate” if liability for breaches of official duties “only occurred in the event of gross negligence and thus only in exceptional cases”.
In contrast to mistakes made by doctors, there is no reversal of the burden of proof in favor of the pupils, the BGH continues. Therefore, the former student had to prove that first aid, such as a cardiac massage, was clearly necessary and could at least have reduced the consequential damage to health.
Accordingly, the student had already requested an expert opinion at the time of cardiac arrest in the lower instances. The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main had rejected this in the first run, but is now to make up for it in accordance with the provisions of the BGH. mwo