Never-ending Wait / Cuban Law Association, Esperanza Rodriguez Bernal

Esperanza Rodríguez Bernal

Juan José returns to the Cuban Law Association for advice because the Compensation Fund has paid only 3,000 of the 39,000 pesos that he was awarded in the judgment of the People’s Municipal Court of Arroyo Naranjo as compensation for the injuries and damages caused by Ernesto, the driver of the Ministry of Agriculture truck that collided with his vehicle.

He told us that he has gone to the Fund many times and that the answer is always, “we have no money to pay.”

His health condition caused by the accident has deteriorated: he has had to undergo two operations on his arm, and two on his spine, declining a third because of the risk of being rendered completely disabled.

To make matters worse, his wife had to undergo surgery for breast cancer, resulting in expenses for transportation and food that his retirement pension cannot cover.

Juan contends that if he could have recovered the majority of the compensation he could at least have fixed their vehicle, and this would have allowed him to get a taxi-driver’s license in order to improve their economic situation.

A letter from the Director of the Compensation Fund dated March 13, 2012, informed Juan, among other things, that “the obliged or debtor has not begun to pay the civil liability imposed by the Municipal Court of Arroyo.”

The letter added that the Fund serves as an intermediary through which the injured party can collect, but it does not take on the responsibility of the debtors to pay the compensation, and therefore it has no funds for assuming that responsibility.

The judgment declaring Ernesto responsible was dated July 6, 2011, and in May 2012, Juan José had recovered only a fraction of it.

According to Article 26 of the Constitution, Juan has the right to make a request to confirm the legality of the judgment of the Arroyo Naranjo Court because it has not been complied with, as regulated in Article 474 in relation with Article 473 of the Labor and Economic Administrative Civil Procedure Law, as well as that established in Law 82 of the People’s Courts in Articles 6 and 7, paragraphs a), b), c) and f), which expressly states:

The courts must effectively implement the rulings that they issue and monitor compliance with them by the agencies charged with being involved in the implementation process, and must also perform the acts prescribed in the appropriate procedural laws, when the execution of their rulings lies with other state agencies.

How much longer must Juan wait to collect the compensation that the Municipal Court of Arroyo Naranjo ordered in a final judgment?

If the agencies charged with enforcing the law do not take the matter in hand, Juan’s wait will be never-ending.

13 November 2013