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Product Liability in Austria: 2008

Getting the Deal through - Product Liability, 2008, 16-21
1. Januar 2008

As of January 2008, 141 district courts, 18 regional courts, four courts of appeal and the Supreme Court are responsible for adjudicating legal cases. In Austria, civil matters are decided in courts of first, second and third instance. District courts and regional courts act as first-instance courts, depending on the amount in dispute and the subject of litigation. Generally speaking, if this amount does not exceed € 10,000 a district court will have jurisdiction, otherwise the matter must be brought before a regional court or commercial court.

All claims regarding product liability (in a narrow sense, only such claims based on the product liability act) will solely be decided by either a district court or a commercial court. In Vienna, there is a specialised commercial district court and a (regional) commercial court competent for all disputes arising out of entrepreneurial issues including product liability. Otherwise a competent regional court will act as commercial court; in both cases either a single judge or a panel consisting of three judges (two career judges and one lay judge) will decide.

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