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The legal system that is Europe

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Europe's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, has ruled that workers who get sick during their vacation time are entitled to new vacation time and to credit the sickness to sick days. [NYT, in a surprisingly free-market-sympathetic article, concluding "The ruling does not apply to the 25 percent of the Spanish labor force that is currently unemployed."]

Alex Tabarrok predicts there will be a lot more sickness during vacation.

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In Angela Merkel's Germany they may be less generous. Eight years ago I spent my two week's vacation in the hospital, in Germany then in the U.S., thanks to the negligence of a European pharmaceutical manufacturer (bad directions). I thought about suing. In Germany, a leading law professor told me that I might get 2000 Euros. It wasn't worth my bother for such a paltry sum. In the U.S., a plaintiff's attorney thought $50,000, not enough to be worth the bother for him. By the way--the medical bills--for eight days in the hospital for each place for practically the same treatment, less than Euros 4000 there versus over $13,000 here.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.