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More 400 deadly toxic victims file millionaire lawsuit against Panama

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  • Fri, 08/31/2018 - 17:05
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A group of people recently sued the Panamanian state for a case of mass poisoning, which occurred more than a decade ago in Panama for a syrup that was distributed by the country's social security, to seek a compensation of up to 200 million dollars.

"After 12 years of this ordeal, we filed before the Supreme Court of Justice more than 400 lawsuits against the State, with a value of 180 to 200 million dollars as compensation to the victims," the president of the Committee of Relatives of the Victims and Survivors for the Right to Health and Life, Gabriel Pascual, told Efe .

See more here - https://www.panamatoday.com/special-report/diethylene-glycol-death-syrup-case-about-expire-6495

In the midst of a demonstration in the Supreme Court, Pascual said the package of lawsuits is only the first filed by a first group of affected people, and that they will file others after they have more scientific evidence and data.

"We ask for justice, although this will not solve our health problems or return the lives of those who died, it is a compensation that the State must give from the moral point of view," he said.

He also said there is a four-year moratorium on reviewing the pension law for survivors - who currently charge around $ 600 a month - for an increase of 900 to 1,000 dollars. So far about 1,200 people have this benefit.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of the poison victims Francisco Carreira told journalists that since 2006, these people have received poor medical treatment, and today there are patients who are at risk, and that is part of what is claimed to the State.

"This is a millionaire lawsuit against the State and the Social Security Fund, 

demanding a compensation for the damages and losses caused to all these people," he said.

One of them is Julissa Berguido, who while holding a painting of her mother who died from the aftermath of diethylene glycol, told Efe that the process has been very difficult for her family, and they have had to suffer poor attention for being only victims.

Added to it, her daughter Liz Vázquez, 25, is also one of the survivors that fights for the case, despite suffering from various conditions such as multiple autoautonomy due to the poison.

Another victim is Gloria de Coronado, who since 2006 was affected by the toxic, and so far remains pending that the case advances despite the fact that justice has not supported those who have suffered the aftermath.

"I live a death sentence and all because of drinking a syrup with diethylene glycol, despite this, this claim is historic, and it has not been easy, we have been almost 13 years and there are still people who have not been reported," she said.

Now Coronado will have to wait for the claim to be admissible with a number of symptoms she is suffering from such as diabetes, colon problems, and neck and back pain.

The Social Security Fund bought in a process initiated in 2003 about 9,000 kilos of a substance reported as pure glycerin, with which it developed a syrup and paste for the skin, which turned out to be of use for industrial refrigerant and not for human consumption, since it had the poisonous substance diethylene glycol.

The health authorities distributed more than 200,000 bottles of these "syrupy poison" throughout the country, but it was not until 2006 that the first cases of poisoning began to be identified.

In April of this year, the Supreme Court revoked the acquittal of five people, including the former director of the state Social Security Fund, René Luciani, and sentenced them to 18 months in jail.

In the original verdict, which was issued in July 2016 and later overrode by the highest court, only five of the nearly 30 accused were convicted, which caused great disappointment among the victims. 

 

Source: EFE

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