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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 20:04 GMT
Vodka death ruled 'industrial accident'
bottles of Russian vodka
Russian parties are seldom complete without vodka
A French court has ruled that a "workplace accident" claimed the life of an electrician who overdosed on vodka while drinking with colleagues in Russia.

The unnamed 44-year-old Frenchman died of alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking with Russian colleagues in Nalchik, southern Russia, three years ago.

His widow went to court when her social security fund refused to pay her the pension she would have received if her husband had died on the job.

The widow's lawyer told the French news agency AFP that the courts had concluded the man's death should be categorised as an industrial accident because work duties had required him to attend the party.

His employers should therefore share the blame for his demise, the court ruled.

See also:

21 Dec 01 | Health
What happens when you get drunk
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