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Man Sued Red Cross for Missing Rolex

Rolex Yacht-Master


A nice, relaxed afternoon in the sauna – but in the end, Paul A. was in the hospital, and to make matters worse, his valuable watch, which needs the best watch winder, had disappeared. The doctors were able to heal the injuries to some extent. The damage caused by the loss of the watch should repair on Wednesday, the district court.

Paul A. (name changed), now 64 years old, visited the sauna at the Sheraton Hotel at Arabellapark on March 4, 2016. Around 3 p.m., an employee wanted to make an infusion – but had probably caught the wrong liquid: There was a deflagration, and a fire broke out. A. wanted to escape, but stumbled over the sauna master lying on the floor. He wetted himself with the oily liquid and was in flames. At the hospital, it was later determined that more than 30 percent of his skin was burned.

When the paramedics first treated him at the hotel, they took the watch from his wrist, a Rolex Yachtmaster with a current value of 18,000 euros. In the clinic, when A. could think again, he noticed the absence of the chronograph. The paramedics said they put the watch in the breast pocket of the bathrobe.


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But A. says he didn’t wear a bathrobe, and the coats at the Sheraton didn’t have breast pockets. However, the clock has disappeared, until today. Paul A. sued the Bavarian Red Cross – from him came the paramedics – for damages.

In the hearing before the district court, however, Frank Tholl, the presiding judge, quickly made it clear that it would probably be nothing: Paul A. or his lawyer had simply sued the wrong person. In 2004, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that in the event of damage incurred during a rescue operation, the responsible rescue association is always liable and not the organizations and persons involved in the operation.

This seems to make sense in the sense of a “uniform liability regime”: The emergency doctor is provided by a clinic, the paramedics come from the Red Cross, and the rescue helicopter belongs to the ADAC – so it could be difficult to distribute the liability fairly to all. The court intends to deliver its verdict on 16 December, as it will be, there is no doubt about that.