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Teen golfer wins club suit over savage kangaroo attack

CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- A teenage golfer savaged by a kangaroo as he searched for a lost ball has won a Supreme Court appeal in Australia for compensation against his local golf club, local media reported today.

The court found the Grafton District Golf Club on the New South Wales north coast negligent in failing to eliminate, reduce or warn golfers of the risk of injury by its resident red kangaroos.Steven Shorten, 13, suffered massive facial wounds and cuts to his abdomen, back and legs when the 5-foot-tall kangaroo grabbed and repeatedly jumped on him when he was looking for his ball in bushes in October 1996.

A district court dismissed a claim by the boy's father for $456,000 compensation in 1998, ruling the club was not negligent, but the family appealed the ruling.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the golfer with the damages yet to be set after hearing there were at least four previous kangaroo attacks on golfers and the course had received permission to cull individual kangaroos that showed aggressive behavior.

Rodney Shorten claimed his son suffered emotional damage after being nicknamed Skippy at school after the well-known television kangaroo.