A compensation of one million euros awarded to Helmut Kohl (CDU) shortly before his death in 2017 did not go to his widow Maike Kohl-Richter.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided on Monday and thus confirmed the judgment of the lower court.

In May 2018, the Cologne Higher Regional Court (OLG), with reference to the BGH, came to the conclusion that the claim to monetary compensation was not inheritable.

Ultimately, it is a matter of providing the injured party with satisfaction, and that is only possible while he is still alive.

This assumption of the OLG is correct, found the VI.

Civil Senate of the BGH on Monday: "The fundamental inheritance of such a claim corresponds to the established supreme court case law."

Pure burger

Political correspondent in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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The litigation in the Kohl case goes back many years and has several threads. In April 2017, the Cologne Regional Court ordered the two publicists Heribert Schwan and Tilman Jens as well as the Random House publishing house to pay damages amounting to one million euros for the extensive unauthorized use of quotations from the former Chancellor in the book “Legacy - the Kohl Protocols “Condemned. That was the highest amount that has been imposed so far because of a violation of personal rights under German law, as the OLG expressly noted at the time.

Schwan and Jens (who had died in the meantime) evaluated tape interviews totaling more than 600 hours in length, which Schwan had made with Kohl in 2001 and 2002, in order to create his multi-volume memoirs on behalf of and on behalf of the former Chancellor to write. Both sides appealed against the Cologne judgment, Kohl, because he insisted on the originally requested five million euros. Schwan, his co-author and the publisher, because they hoped to somehow get out of the mess. When Kohl died on June 16, 2017, the OLG judgment was not final. 

With its current decision on Monday in the Kohl case, the Federal Court of Justice continues its case law. In a landmark judgment in April 2014, the BGH came to the conclusion that claims for pain and suffering are not inherited due to “nature and purpose”. Ultimately, the idea of ​​satisfaction is in the foreground in compensation proceedings. A claim beyond the death of the person who has been injured in his or her right to privacy “generally does not continue”.

In May 2017, the BGH also decided that heirs are only entitled to compensation for pain and suffering if a judgment is final.

This applies even if the claim - as in the Kohl case - “was pending or pending while the injured party was still alive”.

On Monday the VI.

Civil Senate that there are no decisive reasons in the Kohl case to give up the established supreme court jurisdiction.

in the dispute there were “no special circumstances which (exceptionally) would have led to heredity.

(File number VI ZR 258/18) 

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