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Causa Teichtmeister: Appeal filed against damages judgment

Causa Teichtmeister: Appeal filed against damages judgment
Causa Teichtmeister: Appeal filed against damages judgment

Florian Teichtmeister (left) with lawyer Rudolf Mayer

In May, the Vienna Labor and Social Court awarded the Burgtheater 19,231 euros in a lawsuit against the actor, thereby reducing the original claim. “Both sides appealed against the ruling for different reasons immediately before the deadline for appeal expired,” the theater said.

The “Kronen Zeitung” had previously reported in its Saturday edition and quoted from the appeal filed by the Burgtheater’s legal representatives: “In its judgment, the court of first instance correctly concluded that the defendant had unlawfully and culpably harmed the plaintiff. However, it incorrectly limited the plaintiff’s claim for damages due to contributory negligence,” it said.

He finds “the questioning of our constitutional state by the Burgtheater strange,” Teichtmeister’s lawyer, Manfred Arbacher-Stöger, told the newspaper. An appeal has also been lodged because the costs claimed by the Burgtheater are not considered to be convincingly presented, the report says. In the theater, however, the lawyer’s choice of words is strange: “Burgtheater GmbH feels extremely safe and well looked after in the Austrian constitutional state, and therefore does not question it in any way. The justified appeal against an aspect of the first instance judgment is certainly known and understandable to non-lawyers as a normal procedure,” the Burgtheater said in a statement. According to the “Kronen Zeitung”, the Higher Regional Court will subsequently make a written decision.

Two years in prison

Between 2008 and 2021, Teichtmeister obtained images of abused children and young people and altered a significant portion of the files by creating collages or slide shows or adding text annotations to the material. He was sentenced to two years in prison in September 2023 and placed in a forensic therapeutic center, with both the prison sentence and the detention in a correctional facility being conditionally waived on a five-year probationary period.

The Burgtheater had initially believed the dismissed ensemble member’s protestations of innocence and continued to cast him in leading roles. After his confession to the authorities became known, the plays were cancelled or recast. In May, the court ruled in the compensation proceedings that Teichtmeister had not fulfilled his duty to inform his employer about “impending damages as a result of the criminal proceedings”.

However, when the Burgtheater learned of criminal proceedings against the actor in September 2021, it “should not have attached so much importance” to his statements. If Teichtmeister had no longer been employed from that point on, “any damage would have been drastically reduced.” Accordingly, the court found the Burgtheater partly to blame and reduced the theater’s claim for damages (e.g. for canceled performances, newly printed programs and legal fees) to 19,231 euros.

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