Railways Owe $20,000 to 1967 Victim

A Novosibirsk court has ordered Russian Railways to pay more than $20,000 in compensation to a man who had his legs amputated after he was hit by a train 40 years ago, the state-controlled company said Tuesday.

Novosibirsk's Zayeltsovsky District Court ordered the Krasnoyarsk regional branch of Russian Railways to pay a lump sum of 546,000 rubles ($23,353) to the plaintiff, Yevgeny Iyevinsh, 47, Krasnoyarsk Railways lawyer Veniamin Litvin said.

Iyevinsh, who was six years old at the time of the accident, will receive a monthly stipend of 10,000 rubles ($427) from the company for the rest of his life.

"We will, of course, carry out the order as soon as it comes into force," Litvin said. "This is not a large sum for losing two legs."

The court issued the ruling on Feb. 22, but it has yet to come into force because Iyevinsh filed an appeal asking for a larger one-time payment from the company, Judge Konstantin Gavrilets, who issued the ruling, said by telephone.

The Western Siberian Transportation Prosecutor's Office, acting on Iyevinsh's behalf, is demanding that he receive 626,000 rubles ($26,900), spokeswoman, Oksana Gorbunova, said.

Doctors amputated Iyevinsh's legs after the accident in 1967, and he received monthly compensation from the Soviet Transportation Ministry until he was 16 years old.

It was only two years ago that Iyevinsh approached the company again for compensation, Litvin said.

"It's not our duty to look for a disabled person and offer money to him," Litvin said.

Litvin also blamed the accident on Iyevinsh. "He accidentally walked out onto the train tracks as a child and lost his legs, and we have to pay for it, even though it's not our fault," Litvin said.