London, November 4 : An English postman who fell from the terrace of a pub after going out for a cigarette, and slipped into coma for a week, has now moved the court seeking one million pounds as compensation.
Matthew Long, 40, contends that the Old West Station pub in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, should have put up rails to stop customers, who were forced to go outside for a cigarette due to the smoking ban, from falling.
His lawyers claim that the pub was negligent in that it encouraged the use of the platform as a smoking area by providing chairs, tables and ashtrays without putting up any warning signs.
The incident took place in August last year, a month after the smoking ban came into force.
Matthew fell on to the car park at 11pm after supping "four or five" pints of lager with a friend.
The members of his family have revealed that he was so brain-damaged that he even had to relearn his own name.
"It's absolutely devastating for Matthew and the whole family. He smoked only ten cigarettes a day but he must be the worst victim of the smoking ban," British tabloid The Sun quoted him sister Clare Ratcliffe, 46, as saying.
"If he hadn't had to step outside to light up it would never have happened. It had been happy hour and Matthew had a few drinks but has no recollection of what happened," she added.
Matthew spent five months in hospital after the mishap, and is presently in a brain injury unit in Ashford, Kent.
"He has had to learn to walk again and has regained some speech but we have been told it is now as good as it's going to get. He used to love cryptic crosswords and pub quizzes but now he can't remember the alphabet," said his sister.
"He didn't have a girlfriend but was hoping to meet someone, and that future has been taken away," she added.
The newspaper report also said that the pub railings on the terrace soon after the incident.