Mother whose daughter was struck and killed by train receives outrageous bill

Mother whose daughter was struck and killed by train receives outrageous bill

Nothing helps a parent relive the tragedy of losing a young son or daughter better than getting billed for damages connected to the accident that claimed the child’s life.

That was the experience of Carla Nuñez of Belgium, who recently opened her mail only to discover a bill from the Belgian National Railway (SNCB) in the amount of 19,000 Euros (roughly equivalent to $21,578) for damages done to the track when a train collided with her 12-year-old daughter Charlotte in June 2014.

According to The Bulletin, the girl was posing for a selfie on a rail station platform when the train entering the station clipped her, killing her instantly.

“Because my daughter was a minor, I’m responsible for damage caused by the accident,” her mother Carla told Het Laatste Nieuws.

“When you get such a letter, it knocks you sideways. I almost called [SNCB chief executive] Jo Cornu to ask what the hell they were thinking.”

The paper reports that the SNCB only pursues grieving relatives for damages if it knows that they have family insurance cover.

The bill has angered Flemish member of parliament David Geerts, who said: “How can  after she we ignore the emotional impact of such a letter, sent to people who have lost a loved one?

“Instead of sending them a bill for damages, even if they do not have to pay themselves, it would be better to show empathy.”

This incident is reminiscent of another that occurred in 2008 when an Illinois woman on a train platform suffered a broken wrist that resulted from her being struck by the flying limbs of a man who was dismembered when he tried to cross the tracks as a speeding train was bearing down on him. The woman, Gayane Zokhrabov, sued the estate of the dead man and the railroad for damages.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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