A TOURIST who was mauled by a lion as he slept in a tent with his wife has won a huge payout from a British safari firm.
Patrick Fourgeaud, 64, was mauled by the adult male – which ripped part of his arm off – during a trip in the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania in August 2015.
His wife, Brigitte, 63, had woken to find the animal sniffing at her back before it pounced on her husband.
The beast was eventually scared away, leaving Mr Fourgeaud, of Mont-Saxonnex, France, seriously injured.
He had multiple operations to his arm, while the couple both struggle with mental health problems.
They sued UK-based Africa Travel Resource Ltd for damages and, although the firm denied responsibility, it has now agreed to pay up, a court heard.
The settlement will see the couple receive 90 per cent of the value of their claim once it has been assessed.
According to court documents, they are claiming over £200,000 – but the final sum is likely to be considerably more, with the lawyers’ bills alone coming to £300,000.
‘RIGHT AND REASONABLE’
High Court judge Mr Justice Martin Spencer said: “I am absolutely sure the compromise is the right one and a reasonable one.
“It is much better for the claimants that they should have the certainty of a settlement after all this time.”
Court documents revealed that the animal-loving couple, who had been on safari before, were several nights into their African trip when the attack occurred.
They thought they were safe when they bedded down in their mesh tent, but woke to find the lion inside.
Speaking afterwards, Mrs Fourgeaud said: “I will never forget that moment when I woke up to see the lion there.
“I thought we were both going to die. The attack will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
The couple claim that not enough was done to ensure their camp was safe from attacks.
The company fought the claim for five years, but finally agreed to settle the case on the eve of a trial due to start today, the court was told.
Lawyer Matthew Chapman said more work would be done to investigate the level of the payout the couple will seek, although court documents put the claim at “in excess of £200,000”.
The judge also ordered that Africa Travel Resource pay £100,000 towards the couple’s already incurred legal costs.
A further hearing will be arranged to set out directions for the assessment of their damages payout.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/2206362/tourist-mauled-lion-slept-tent-wins-payout-safari/