Source AP ©

Czech appeals court rules to compensate Briton injured by Christmas tree

A Chech appeals court ordered to pay compensation to a British tourist who was hardly injured by the Christmas tree, fallen down on him in December 2003.

Malcolm Tuffin, 57, will receive 559,000 koruna (EUR19,900; US$27,050) in compensation from the city and from an agency that organized the traditional Christmas market in Prague's Old Town Square that year, said Tomas Vejnar, spokesman for Prague's Municipal court.

Tuffin's spine and femur bones were fractured when strong winds blew the 30-meter (100-foot) -tall tree onto him in the crowded market.

The court, however, reduced the award made by a lower court, which ruled last May that Tuffin should receive 2.5 million koruna (EUR88,900; US$120,900), Vejnar said.

He said that Tuffin's claims for compensation for medical treatment and lost income were not supported by sufficient evidence and he would have to take his case back to a lower court. No date for that hearing was set.

It was not immediately clear how much of the settlement would be paid by the city, and how much by the agency.

Prague's City Hall and the agency denied responsibility for the accident.

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