Cyprus Mail

Residents near carcinogenic factory complain over compensation

The committee for the cancer victims of the Astrosol factory which was, along with the government, found guilty in 2017 of creating a cancer cluster in the area said that the compensation amounts decided on Μοnday by the Nicosia district court for six of the 21 total plaintiffs are “exceptionally low and unacceptable.”

The committee expressed its “great disappointment for the court’s approach, which was aware of the terrible circumstances and the long periods for which the victims in question suffered.”

While the compensation sums that were being claimed by the six persons, four of whom have been diagnosed with cancer, ranged between €500,000 and €1m, the compensation amounts granted by the court were much lower.

After class-action lawsuits filed by 21 people, headed by Theofanis Chrysanthou and Constantina Barka, the parents of 11-year-old Stavros who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of five, the Nicosia district court in December 2017 found that government services and the Astrosol shoe factory in Latsia were inadvertently responsible for creating a cancer cluster for people working in and living near the factory.

The plaintiffs claimed that for over 30 years Astrosol used dichloromethane R40 in processing its shoe soles, a chemical which has been classified as ‘likely to be carcinogenic in humans’.

For 11-year-old Stavros, the court on Monday decided on compensation of €100,000 for the pain and discomfort caused by leukaemia which was brought about by the illegal activities of the factory.

According to the committee, the sums “compared to compensation sums given for car accidents or other cases of injury or in general to cases less important than the one in question.”

Ever since the child was diagnosed with leukaemia, and later with myocarditis, Stavros and his family have been forced to travel to and from the US for tests and treatment, and will continue to do so for the rest of his life, the committee claimed.

For his father, Theofanis Chrysanthou, the court decided on compensation of €46,078.44 for expenses in New York, €20,500 for tickets, €46,892.36 for loss of income and €5,000 for nuisance and intervention in his ability to enjoy his home.

For Constantina Barka, the mother of the child, the court granted a compensation of €5,000 for nuisance and intervention in her ability to enjoy her home.

For another plaintiff, Ionas Kailis, the court decided on compensation of €600 as personal damages and €50,000 as a general compensation for the pain and discomfort inflicted upon him after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Another plaintiff who was diagnosed with cancer, Christos Minas, also received a compensation totalling €57,894.

A fourth plaintiff who was diagnosed with cancer, Andriani Mina, was compensated with a total of €91,451.33.

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