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Mr. Falkenbach becomes clear information from his car repair shop: The flat-rate price for the repair of the damage is going to be 700 euros. When the customer picks up the car, however, 833 euros are printed on the invoice.
Reason for this unfortunate misunderstanding is that the employee of the car repair shop only told his customer the net price of his service, absolutely not mentioning the value added taxes that were going to incur.
Mr Falkenberg decided to take legal action, as he previously refused the offer of another garage, which would actually have been cheaper, only because he thought that he was going to pay only 700 euros.
The Karlsruhe Regional Court decided that consumers in Germany must always be able to see immediately and transparently the actual price of goods and services they are going to purchase, always including VAT. It is not permissible to add VAT on the invoice without informing the customer in advance.
In case the seller (or car repair shop owner) does not comply with this regulation, it could face an administrative fine of up to 250,000 euros.
Going home from work is not automatically covered by life insurance
Federal Social Court of Kassel (Case B 2 U 9/19 R)
Sometimes life does not go as planned. The case we are reviewing with you today is unfortunately concerning the tragic car accident of Hannes Hanke.
Mr. Hanke used to work as a chemical worker in his hometown in Germany. One day, just like many others, leaves Mr. Hanke his workplace, leaves the machine running, doesn’t say goodbye to his colleagues and doesn’t log off at the working hours file record. He usually calls his wife before going home, but he doesn’t do that that day either. He gets into his car and goes on the usual and direct way home. In doing so, his car gets caught in oncoming traffic and Hannes Hanke suddenly loses his life in a car crush. His widow is now claiming survivor´s loss benefits from the statutory life insurance. However, the employers’ insurance association rejects her claims as the accident was according to the records on his way home and not at his actual working place.
Ms. Hanke decided then to go to court and let the judges at the Federal Social Court in Kassel decide.
The Tribunal Decision:
They took the following decision: An accident on the usual way home from work is not always covered by the statutory accident insurance. Rather, it must also be clear that the employee actually wants to drive home. This cannot be established in the present case. After a normal working day, it can be assumed that the employee does indeed want to go home. However, this does not apply to the completely atypical procedure that Mr. Hanke had on the day of his death.
So, Ms. Hanke unfortunately had not received her insurance benefits.
What do you think about this case? Do you have questions on German insurance law?
In times of corona, every action we were actually taking without thinking has become an open question. This is the case of an employer (a German company operating in the field of clinical rehabilitation) and the group works council (in German Konzernbetriebsratsitzung) of its company.
The employer has temporarily prohibited all employees from attending
inter-facility meetings and gatherings and has applied this prohibition also
with regard to a planned meeting of the group works council, which is to be
held in person over several days and requires the works council members to
travel. The employer considers such a presence meeting to be unacceptable in
view of the current Covid 19 pandemic. The group works council has however
opposed to the prohibition and claimed that all applicable legal requirements
for protection against infections have been complied with and there is no need
to postpone meetings.
In the proceedings
for interim relief, the Berlin Labor Court has ruled that a meeting of the group
works council cannot be prohibited.
to the decision of the labor court, there is no legal basis for a ban of this
kind of meetings. According to the Works Constitution Act, the chairman of the
group works council decides on the convening of the meeting, the place of the
meeting and thus also on whether a meeting is to be held in the form of a video
or telephone conference.
According to the Corona Contact and Operating
Restrictions Ordinance currently in force at the venue, it is permissible to
hold the meeting, whereby the observance and compliance with the Ordinance is
primarily the responsibility of the group works council itself and its
chairperson. The increase in risk remains despite expected compliance with the
rules of conduct but this did not entitle the employer to prohibit the meeting
as a face-to-face event.
This decision is subject to appeal to the
Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labour Court.