A French tourist who was mauled by a lion has been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages after a five-year legal battle with a UK-based travel company.
Patrick Fourgeaud, 64, was on a safari holiday with his wife Brigitte in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park in 2015 when the couple awoke to find a male lion in their tent.
Brigitte, who is 64, awoke to the animal sniffing her back before it pounced on her husband, according to the Daily Mail.
Patrick, who is from Mont-Saxonnex, escaped with serious injuries and had to undergo multiple operations on his arm.
The couple, who are also struggling with mental health problems after the ordeal, sued UK-based Africa Travel Resource Ltd for damages and reached a settlement over the weekend, despite the company denying responsibility.
The settlement was agreed upon the night before the case was to go to trial.
They claim the company didn’t do enough to ensure their camp was safe from night attacks.
“I will never forget that moment when I woke up to see the lion there,” Fourgeaud’s wife told the court.
“I thought we were both going to die. The attack will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
The Fourgeauds were claiming more than £200,000 ($358,000) in damages, but their legal fees were estimated to be £300,000 ($537,000).
The judge ordered Africa Travel Resource to pay an additional £100,000 ($180,000) to go towards legal fees and the couple’s barrister, Matthew Chapman, said he would be investigating the level of the payout, with a further hearing to determine damages to be arranged.
Featured image source: iStock/SeppFriedhuber