Franco-British man shot dead by hunters: €1.4m compensation claim

'By hitting each and every hunter in the wallet, we would make them all more responsible in future hunts,' lawyer tells French court

Morgan Keane was shot dead on his land near his home while chopping wood in 2020
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The lawyer for a Franco-British man shot dead by a hunter is asking for €1.4million in damages at a civil case in south-west France.

Hunter Julien Féral shot and killed British-born Morgan Keane, who was chopping wood in his garden, in Lot in December 2020.

After a trial in Cahors in 2023, Féral was given a two-year suspended sentence and a lifetime hunting ban in a ruling that Morgan Keane’s friend Mila Sanchez called “a bad joke”.

Read more: Franco-British man shot by hunter: anger over ‘lenient’ sentence 

Ms Sanchez went on to co-found the Un jour un chasseur collective to campaign for stricter controls on hunting.

Civil case for €1.4m damages

Morgan Keane’s brother Rowan Keane has brought a civil case against the hunter who shot Mr Keane and the president of the hunting association for damages, compensation and, according to lawyer Me Benoit Coussy, “to make hunters more responsible by hitting them in the wallet.”

“What does Morgan Keane’s death mean if nothing changes? What does his death mean if the hunting community is not impacted financially?” argued Me Coussy.

The proposed damages amount to €1,442,588 - the maximum permitted for accidental death - which would be paid out by the hunters’ insurance company.

“The insurers have taken no initiative to propose solutions despite the damage being recognised by a definitive court ruling,” Me Coussy told France 3 prior to the hearing on June 12.

“It is quite wrong. In a civilised society, this matter should not have gone to court, but rather settled out of court in a spirit of healing and humanity.”

‘Make hunters think twice’

During the hearing, Me Coussy argued that should the court require the maximum damages to be paid, it would have a knock on effect on the price of hunters’ insurance policies.

“By hitting each and every hunter in the wallet, we would make them all more responsible in future hunts,” he said. “Nothing is more valuable than a human life”

The lawyers for the hunters rejected the demand for €1.4m in compensation. 

The ruling is expected on August 5, 2024.