You’re not hung over, you’re legally ill—in Germany

Photo: KrisCole (iStock)

You might not want to explain to your boss exactly why you’re calling in sick—“It was the Cuervo shots, ma’am”—but roughly a third of Americans will take a day off work after a night of binge drinking. In Germany, that excuse might fly a bit better these days, after a Frankfurt court ruled Monday that hangovers are in fact classifiable as an illness.

German news site Deutsche Welle reports the ruling stemmed from a case in which plaintiffs challenged a company—the specific company is unnamed in court documents—that manufactures powders and liquids claiming to have hangover-curing properties. (You can find these in the States, too.) The suit argued that food and drink cannot claim to treat or cure illness or diseases in their advertising, similar to statutes in the U.S. The German judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, essentially ruling that hangovers are an illness and thus dietary supplements or foods cannot make advertising claims to cure or treat such illnesses.

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Per court filings, the products had claimed they were “suitable for treating the symptoms of alcoholism or could prevent a hangover” in order to appeal to their target demographic, “primarily young consumers who consume alcohol when celebrating.” In what is surely unrelated news, Munich’s Oktoberfest is currently underway.

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.