A French tourist who was mauled by a lion while on safari has been awarded almost €300,000 after a five-year legal battle with a UK-based operator. Patrick Fourgeaud, 64, was attacked in Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park in 2015.
Fourgeaud and his wife Brigitte, 64, were asleep in their tent when they woke up to find an adult male lion sniffing her back. He then pounced on Mr Fourgeaud, seriously injuring his arm, which required multiple operations.
The couple, who claimed to be suffering with mental health problems after their experience, sued UK-based Africa Travel Resource Ltd for damages and not doing enough to safeguard the camp from night attacks. The company denied responsibility but settled the case the night before it was intended to go to trial.
“I will never forget that moment when I woke up to see the lion there,” Brigitte Fourgeaud 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 in excess of £200,000 (€225,000) in damages, but their legal fees were assessed as being around £300,000 (€338,000); the judge ordered Africa Travel Resource to pay an additional £100,000 (€112,000) toward their legal fees and said he would be investigating the amount paid out, with a future hearing to determine actual damages.