Axel Springer must once again pay Jörg Kachelmann compensation for pain and suffering

After his acquittal from the accusation of rape, the Swiss weather presenter Kachelmann went to court because of media reports in which he saw his personal rights violated. A ruling against Springer has now become legally binding: the media company must pay once again.


The German media company Axel Springer (Image) must once again pay the weather entrepreneur Jörg Kachelmann compensation for pain and suffering. The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) rejected an appeal by the company. It had objected to the fact that no appeal had been allowed against a ruling of the Cologne Higher Regional Court (OLG) from 2016. The OLG decision is thus legally binding.

Springer must pay the 60-year-old 170,000 euros in compensation. Including damages and interest since August 2010, the amount is around 236,000 euros, Kachelmann's lawyer Ralf Höcker said on Thursday. First, the NDR magazine "Zapp" had reported.

Springer stated on request that it notes the decision of the judges in Karlsruhe with regret. "To the extent that our complaint of non-admission was rejected, we consider the decision to be wrong and inappropriate to the importance of the freedom of reporting, which is protected by fundamental rights. Therefore, we are examining the possibility of a constitutional complaint." According to an OLG spokesman, however, this would not have any suspensive effect.

The BGH decision of 23 July 2018 concerned publications in the online edition of the Image-Zeitung. Only with regard to an amount of 10,000 euros for a photo of Kachelmann in front of a law firm did the BGH allow an appeal.

Personal rights "seriously violated"

Kachelmann had been acquitted of rape charges in 2011. In the coverage of his trial, the Image-In the opinion of the Cologne judges, the newspaper repeatedly seriously violated Kachelmann's personality rights in its printed edition as well as online. The Higher Regional Court did not allow an appeal against the decision. With regard to the print edition, the BGH had already rejected Springer's appeal against non-admission in the spring. In the proceedings, the OLG had set the compensation at 215,000 euros.

According to Höcker, the sum of damages for pain and suffering including interest for both proceedings together is more than 530,000 euros. Springer did not comment on specific amounts of money. Kachelmann wrote on Twitter: "This ends the legal processing of 2010/2011 for me."

His lawyer told the news agency DPA that his client was not only the victim of a false accusation, but also of a terrible campaign of the Image-newspaper. He said the monetary sum could not compensate for the damage suffered. "Nevertheless, we are pleased with this success." (SDA)

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