A Hungarian court has ruled that a man who lost both of his legs after being struck by a train stepped in front of the moving vehicle intentionally in order to collect millions of dollars in insurance payouts.
The man — identified in court documents as Sandor Cs. due to the country's strict privacy laws — has claimed since July 30, 2014, that he stepped on glass, lost his balance, and fell onto the railroad tracks just outside a train station in the Hungarian village of Nyircsaszari.
But on Nov.9, the Pest Central District Court ruled that Cs. had deliberately put himself in the train's path in an attempt to swindle the system. He was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay more than $5,000 in legal fees, the Daily Mail reported.
Authorities in the country had reportedly suspected that the 54-year-old inflicted the injury himself on purpose in order to claim a $3.2 million insurance payout.
Their suspicions stemmed from the discovery that Cs. had taken out 14 high-risk life insurances policies in the year leading up to the strange incident. His wife attempted to file the claims soon after the incident, but the insurance companies refused to pay on grounds that the injury was caused intentionally.
The collision resulted in the defendant losing both of his legs from the knee down. He is now wheelchair-bound and uses prosthetic limbs.
Cs. reportedly maintains his innocence and has argued that he took out the insurance policies after allegedly being advised that returns on the insurance policies would be better than returns from savings accounts.
"I find the ruling very peculiar. Naturally, it isn't what I expected, I am disappointed," he told local news outlet Blikk following the ruling.
He vowed to appeal if possible, saying, "I need to see this through to the end because, as is, this is not right, and the court must feel the same way."
According to the International Business Times, the seven-year trial took such a long time in part because the train conductor changed his story. After originally saying that the defendant fell, he later claimed that he had thrown himself in front of the train on purpose.
The defendant reportedly worked in the thermal energy industry prior to the incident. He now says he is unable to work and that the medical bills and legal fees have bankrupted him.