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Michael Schumacher's family win lawsuit against magazine

  • Magazine Bunte ran a December story claiming Schumacher could walk again 
  • Family say he is still completely unable to move and requires constant care
  • Lawyers argued magazine violated vulnerable man's rights and court agreed
  • Schumacher was left brain-damaged after a skiing accident in December 2013

By Allan Hall In Berlin for MailOnline

Published: 11:36 EDT, 5 May 2017 | Updated: 11:46 EDT, 5 May 2017

A German magazine has been ordered to pay F1 legend Michael Schumacher £45,000 for falsely claiming he could walk again.

The former Ferrari driver was left comatose following a skiing accident in December 2013 and has never been seen in public since.

He is cared for by a team of doctors and medical technicians at his Swiss mansion.

Michael Schumacher's family have been awarded £45,000 from German magazine Bunte
Michael Schumacher's family have been awarded £45,000 from German magazine Bunte
The magazine falsely published a story saying the former racing driver could walk again
The magazine falsely published a story saying the former racing driver could walk again

Michael Schumacher's family have been awarded £45,000 from German magazine Bunte after it falsely published a story saying the former racing driver could walk again

In September last year one of his lawyers said the family were suing German celebrity magazine Bunte for claiming in a December 2015 article that he could move around in the purpose-built care suite erected at his home in Gland. 

Attorney Felix Damm told a court in Hamburg: 'He cannot walk. The report was false and damaged the right to privacy of Mr. Schumacher and his family.'

Bunte ran the headline: 'It's more than a Christmas miracle - Michael Schumacher can walk again'.

Now the media chamber of Hamburg's regional court found the article infringed Schumacher's privacy and ordered the magazine to pay compensation plus 65 per cent of his legal costs.

'The chamber assumes that this statement is false,' said court judge Simone Kaefer. 

Schumacher's family had sought damages of €100,000 but the court, in mitigation, determined that the magazine had researched and sourced the article thoroughly.

His lawyer also said that the seven time Formula One World Champion could not move without the aid of a therapist.

Criticising the magazine at the time of the report, Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm said: 'Unfortunately we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true.

'Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important for Michael. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.' 

The latest lawsuit comes after family members sued German tabloids in July last year for posting reports Michael had spoken his first words since the accident.

Meanwhile, motor racing insiders say that the team of 15 experts who are caring for the racer around the clock remain optimistic of a breakthrough.

He awoke from his coma in 2014 but remains immobile and cannot speak. 

Schumacher fell into a temporary coma after a skiing accident in 2013 (file image), and while he has woken up, his family say he cannot move or speak at all
Schumacher fell into a temporary coma after a skiing accident in 2013 (file image), and while he has woken up, his family say he cannot move or speak at all

Schumacher fell into a temporary coma after a skiing accident in 2013 (file image), and while he has woken up, his family say he cannot move or speak at all

Schumacher requires around-the-clock care at his Swiss mansion, his lawyers said in court, while his family wait to see if his condition will improve
Schumacher requires around-the-clock care at his Swiss mansion, his lawyers said in court, while his family wait to see if his condition will improve

Schumacher requires around-the-clock care at his Swiss mansion, his lawyers said in court, while his family wait to see if his condition will improve

His family, led by devoted wife Corinna, have never given up hope that one day he will come back to them.

The half-billion pound fortune Schumacher accrued during his years at the top means money is no object when it comes to caring for him.

It is understood the family have consulted with the greatest neurological experts in Europe and the USA. The prognosis remains the same: only time will tell.

The trauma he suffered while out skiing on December 29 2013 was so complex and so severe that he remains dependent.

They turn him to prevent bedsores, wash him, massage his atrophied muscles and hook him up to the expensive medical machinery which helps him breathe at night and monitors all his vital signs.

Top sponsors like Mercedes have never deserted him and he continues to earn money even now.

But perhaps a sign that the family knows they are in for the long haul came last year when Corinna sold his private jet and a holiday home they shared in Norway.

She has also taken over the financial reins of his empire and is advised on a daily basis on investments and cash flows by a battery of lawyers.

One source close to the family said: 'While they wait for the breakthrough the practical side of Corinna has come to the fore. She is now in charge of Schmacher Inc. until the day he is well enough to resume his role.

'The family have been astonished at the outpouring of love for him from around the world. Only a few close friends and family get to see Michael now, but they pulse out the love of millions at his bedside.'

FIA president Jean Todt said in December that Schumacher was 'still fighting'. 

Ross Brawn, the managing director of motorsports at F1, added: 'We keep praying every day that he'll recover to a stage where…it's slow, but there's always hope.' 

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