Have you ever taken a day off work saying you were “sick,” but really you had just had a few too many beers the night before?
Well you can feel better about it, because you weren’t lying after all: In an important legal ruling sure to be cited on many groggy Monday mornings, hangovers have been declared an “illness” by a German court.
No, the decision was not the result of a hungover court trying to justify sleeping til noon on a Wednesday, but rather the result of a legal battle between a consumer watchdog group and a manufacturer selling “hangover cures.”
The identities of the two parties are unknown, but according to the New York Times, the company was advertising a powder product as an “anti-hangover shot” who’s ingredients would fight the symptoms of over-drinking.
The plaintiff apparently took them to court on the grounds of false advertising. It is illegal in Germany for a company to promote food or supplements as cures for ailments or disease. The question, then, revolved around that age-old question: is a hangover a real illness?
The courts decided that, indeed, it was. According to the Times, the court defined illness as “any, even minor or transient, disturbance of the normal nature or normal activity of the body” including even “an insignificant or temporary disturbance of the normal condition.”
And, presumably with flashbacks to downing shots back in law school, the court decided that that sounded like a hangover.
Of course the decision could be appealed, and really only applies to Germany (although it is just in time for Oktoberfest!)
But, if you want to argue with your boss about why you need the day after the Super Bowl off, you now have some legal precedent to cite.
We don’t need the courts to tell us hangovers are an illness. Share this story with your drinking buddies!