NM jury awards Fla. man $3.86M in balloon accident

Posted at: 11/01/2012 3:42 PM
Updated at: 11/01/2012 7:04 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico jury has awarded a Florida man $3.86 million in damages after he was injured in a 2009 hot air balloon accident in Albuquerque.

Jurors on Thursday found that the pilot acted recklessly and the Balloon Fiesta organization's negligence led to an accident where Thomas Hurd suffered debilitating injuries.

The Albuquerque Journal says pilot Timmerly Eklund is responsible for 60 percent of the judgment and the fiesta 30 percent.

The 72-year-old Hurd, of Port Charlotte, Fla., was found liable for 10 percent of the damages for negligence.

The suit says he fell out of the balloon after it struck a tent on the outskirts of the fiesta field.

He suffered a crushed pelvis, broken back and hip socket, a crushed heel and other injuries that required multiple surgeries.

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