Why isn’t Michael Schumacher’s health status updated? Pilot’s lawyer explains

Felix Damm clarifies issues involving the seven-time world champion and the release of information since his accident, which turns 10 years old in December

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(updated at 10:55 pm)

Michael Schumacher celebrating victory and title at the 2002 French GP

Michael Schumacher celebrating victory and title at the 2002 French GP

Photo: F1/Disclosure

A suspense surrounds the news involving the former German pilot Michael Schumacher since December 29, 2013, the date on which the seven-time world champion in Formula 1 suffered a serious accident while skiing at the Meribel resort in the French Alps.

Last week, the Schumacher family lawyer for matters involving the press, Felix Damgave an interview to the German portal LTO (Legal Tribune Online) in which it clarifies some points involving the reasons why the former pilot’s family hid information about the seven-time champion’s health status from the public and the media.

(Provide a concrete report on Schumacher’s health) It’s always been about protecting private things. Of course, we discussed a lot about how this is possible. So we also considered whether a final report on Michael’s health might be the right way to do this. But that would not have been all and there would have had to be constantly updated ‘unstable bulletins’. Because, as those affected, it is not up to you to end the media. They could go back to that report again and again and ask, ‘What’s it like now?’ One, two, three months or years after the report. And if we then wanted to take action against this complaint, we would have to deal with the argument of voluntary self-exposure”, explained Damm.

The lawyer mentions the issue of “voluntary self-exposure”, because this was a recurring theme in the legal battles that the Schumacher family fought to prevent the disclosure of certain content about the German’s health status. He refers to the fact that the family itself, accompanied by doctors, publicized information about the former Ferrari driver shortly after the accident.

“In principle, no one can claim the privacy of facts that they themselves have voluntarily disclosed to the public. In this context, jurisprudence speaks of the self-opening of the private sphere. This is why we have repeatedly had to deal with the ‘self-disclosure’ argument in court proceedings. Ultimately, we were proven right. It was decided that the statements at the press conference were so general that speculation about the state of health should not be made. Furthermore, it was questionable whether the information would be provided voluntarily when requested by hundreds of journalists who surrounded the hospital for days,” Damm said.

The lawyer also said he understands that Schumacher fans want to have news about the German. “Naturally. But I also believe that the vast majority of fans can deal with this well and also respect the fact that the accident has triggered a process in which private shelter is necessary and will now continue to be respected,” he said.

Damm also pointed to those who have passed on information about Schumacher’s health to the press, such as Jean Todt and Georg Gänswein, who have commented on the situation in recent years. For the lawyer, even friends and close people can be sued if they make private matters public.

“If it is not the person concerned who is acting, but rather friends or acquaintances who disclose private information, this is not a case of ‘voluntary self-disclosure’ of the private sphere. The affected person can therefore defend himself against the disclosure of circumstances of private life, even if the information comes from acquaintances”.

The post first appeared on www.terra.com.br

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