Court rules in favor of Bure, but lawyer says compensation not enough

8/31/2007 - NHL

MOSCOW -- A Moscow district court Friday awarded former NHL star Pavel Bure 67,000 rubles ($2,615 U.S. dollars) in damages after British Airways prevented him from boarding a flight from Moscow to London.

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The court ruled the airline had violated Bure's consumer rights and his award covers compensation, the cost of an air ticket from Moscow to London and moral damages.

Bure, 36, had been seeking 20 million rubles in damages over the incident, which happened last October. Bure's lawyer, Dmitry Ragulin, said the airline pilot had mistaken his client for a soccer hooligan.

A spokesman for the airline said it had no immediate comment but was preparing a statement.

Ragulin said he was planning to appeal to seek larger damages.

"We are disappointed that the court had awarded such small compensation for the moral damages," he said. "If the British airline violated the right of such a famous person, known throughout the world as the 'Russian Rocket,' then
what about ordinary mortals?

"If David Beckham, the British idol, was thrown off a plane by a Russian airline, then what size of compensation would he have got?"

Bure retired from the game following a serious knee injury in 2003. He is a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard
Trophy as the NHL's top goal scorer in 2000 and 2001.

British Airways was not represented at the hearing. A representative arrived after the start of the hearing and said
the company's lawyer was ill and unable to attend.