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After Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum offered the relatives of the 26 fatal victims of the May 3 Line 12 Metro crash a financial compensation of just 650,000 pesos (about $32,500) each, the families filed a joint action law suit against the city late Friday, May 7.

In an interview with El Financiero newspaper, the group’s lawyer, Jesús Alberto Guerrero Rojas, called the amount offered by the city “ridiculous and absurd.”

The city’s insurance company, Grupo Mexicano de Seguros (GMS), had originally offered just 350,000 pesos (about $17,500) to each family, but Sheinbaum upped the offer on Thursday, May 6.

“Perhaps the Mexico City government thinks that Mexicans are cheap and plentiful, so why bother to pay for their deaths,” Guerrero Rojas said in the interview.

“The government is trying to take advantage of the vulnerability of its own citizens.”

Guerrero Rojas also said that it is the responsibility Metro Director Florencia Serranía to publicize its contract with GMS, “since this company has a lot of responsibility, not only for the ridiculous amounts it intends to pay, but for the criminal attention to the victims who had to be transferred to first-level private hospitals, not to (the state-run) Balbuena or other government hospitals.”

The class action lawyer went on to note that there is currently a document circulating on social media showing the Metro’s policy with GMS, in which the government paid GMS almost 300 million pesos a year.

“Consequently,” Guerrero Rojas said, “the insured sum per victim should be about 5 billion pesos, which is what is established by the law.”

Based on Articles 1915 of the Civil Code of Mexico City and 502 of the Federal Labor Law, in the case of compensation for death, the highest minimum wage (317.29 pesos a day) at the time of the tragedy must be multiplied by four and, this in turn, for 5,000 days.

“In other words, the defendant (STC Metro) must pay more than 6.345 million pesos for compensation for direct damage due to death,” he said.

“That amount is for each of the deceased victims and must be paid to the direct relatives.”

Regarding injured persons, coverage for physical damage must be based according to the severity of the injury, which are contained in the government’s Permanent Disability Assessment Table.

“For example, if the victim lost an arm, the law establishes that the corresponding percentage would be 80 percent, so it would reach 5.76 million pesos, based on the maximum of more than 6 million pesos that corresponds to the direct damage by death,” Guerrero Rojas explained.

The Mexico City government has not responded to the suit.


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