Victim’s Father Wins Lawsuit

Victim’s Father Wins Lawsuit

Published: October 19, 2011 (Issue # 1679)

The Petrogradsky District Court ordered the district administration Tuesday to pay 430,000 rubles ($14,000) in physical damages to the father of a young Estonian woman who spent more than nine months in a coma after being hit by a chunk of falling ice in February last year.

Vadim Kashtanov, the father of 23-year-old Milana Kashtanova, will be paid specifically by Building Maintenance Service No. 2, the organization responsible for overseeing the ice-clearing works.

Kashtanova, who had come to St. Petersburg to study psychology, was hit on the head by the ice as she walked past an apartment building at 3 Ulitsa Krasnogo Kursanta on the Petrograd Side that was being cleared of ice. She sustained severe brain injuries.

After completing an expensive rehabilitation course at the Reha Nova clinic in Cologne, Germany — the costs of the treatment totaled 100,000 euros — Kashtanova was taken home to Estonia this summer, where the rehabilitation process continues.

Kashtanova’s mother is getting ready to file another suit against the authorities for about 200,000 rubles, and more suits will follow in order to receive full compensation for all of the German clinic’s bills, said Alexander Golovanov, the lawyer representing the Kashtanov family. The next case will be reviewed by the court on Nov. 8.

“In total, the family is seeking compensation of almost 2.5 million rubles,” Golovanov said. “If the family does not repay the bills, the Cologne clinic will take legal action against them, the parents were told.”

After Tuesday’s verdict, Golovanov said he was hoping that the authorities would be willing to settle the compensation issue peacefully, without further trials. But a representative of Building Maintenance Service No. 2, said the company would only transfer the funds to the Kashtanovs after being ordered to do so by the court.

This spring, a case was filed against the company seeking 1.5 million rubles in damages. The authorities protested, but the money was paid thanks to the intervention of Konstantin Zheludkov, then head of the Petrogradsky district administration.

“This young woman sustained awful injuries that confined her to bed for many months; it would be dishonorable for us to bargain,” Zheludkov said at the time. “It is a matter of honor for us to cover the costs of her treatment in full.”

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