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Long-running case Cresta Run amputee victim awarded damages

The Cresta Run skeleton event is considered one of the world's most hazardous sports

(Keystone)

A former British army officer who lost part of his leg in an accident on the Cresta Run in St Moritz has been awarded CHF33,000 ($34,000) costs by a Swiss court, nearly a decade after the incident.

Travelling at high speed on a skeleton run in 2008, the then 32-year-old caught his ankle on a wooden post that was holding up a sun shade to protect the ice. The impact sheared his foot off at the ankle. Despite 10 procedures aimed at repairing the damage, surgeons eventually had to remove the man’s leg just under the knee.

Several courtrooms in Switzerland have attempted to ascertain who, if anyone, was responsible for the accident. A former official at the Cresta Run had argued he was not to blame as he did not construct the toboggan track. His lawyers also argued that he should be acquitted as the injury was sustained whilst undertaking a dangerous sport.

But on Wednesday, the Graubünden court found that the 68-year-old was responsible for safety at the Cresta Runexternal link. He was ordered to pay CHF33,000 to the Iraq war veteran and was fined CHF1,000.

The complainant, now 41, said he felt finally vindicated after launching a private prosecution to challenge a previous court verdict.

The current ruling could yet be challenged on appeal at a federal court.

The famous 1.2 kilometre Cresta Run ice track was built in the 1884/1885 winter by British winter sports enthusiasts who also founded the St Moritz Tobogganing Club. It is one of the few tracks in the world dedicated to the skeleton – a type of sledge. 

The village of Cresta is situated near to St Moritz in canton Graubünden.

swissinfo.ch/mga with agencies

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