Coughing Case: Supreme Court

Re: the Legality of Accusing Healthy People of Spreading Deadly Contagion


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Facts of the Case

  • Dates: Feb 22, 2022 (OGH Decision)
  • Location: Austria
  • Court: Supreme Court (OGH)
  • Case #:
  • Plaintiff:
  • Plaintiff’s Lawyer:
  • Defendant: Public Prosecutor
  • Trial Type: Criminal Complaint
  • Judge:
  • Status: Decided
  • Verdict: for the Plaintiff

*updated 2022


An Austrian woman from Carpathia who coughed in the direction of two police personnel after working in a Corona quarantine area was charged by the public prosecutor’s office of criminally endangering others with communicable disease. [1]

The woman did not evidence a positive PCR test result but was unashamedly accused of being a criminal threat to life. [1]

At first hearing, the Regional Court put a stop to this request. However, the public prosecutor would not give up and the case went through two further courts, the Higher Regional Court of Graz, and finally to the Supreme Court of Austria (Obergerichtshof or OGH). [1]

Each time, the woman was acquitted. [1]



First legal case in Europe to challenge the “new normal” notion that when a healthy person coughs they are sick and can infect or otherwise endanger the health of others.


Plaintiff’s Argument

Lawyer for the plaintiff, Arthur Berger argued that a healthy person could not logically endanger anyone [1]


Defendant’s Argument

…More information is needed…


Relevant Prior Judgements/ Cases

…More information is needed…



Quote from Supreme Court:

“If someone is not infected with a disease, the facts of the case (endangering people with transmissible diseases) cannot be fulfilled.” [1]

This information was given to “Kleine Zeitung” by the spokeswoman of the Supreme Court, Dr. Alexandra Michel-Kwapinski. [1]

The ruling has precedent character for all similar cases and applies not only to Corona, but to all notifiable infectious diseases. [1]

Specifically, anyone who is only suspected of having an infectious disease but can be shown not to have it may not be suspected of spreading it. [1]

Strictly speaking, this ruling should have far-reaching consequences for the entire corona and pandemic policy. [1]



…More information is needed…

Further Research

Court Documents:
  • Read the Court Ruling
In the news:
  • …More information is needed…




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asymptomatic, Austria, cough, Coughing, Graz, infectious disease, Obergerichtshof, OGH, pcr, Supreme Court, Transmission, transmission of infection

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