A Russian woman was reportedly told to cover maintenance costs after her son was killed by a high-speed train, with insurance bosses’ requests for compensation only withdrawn after the firm came under fire in the press.
In a statement issued to journalists on Friday, insurance company Rosgosstrakh said that it is now looking to return around 400,000 rubles ($5,645) paid by the family of the tragic boy since the 2019 incident. While the company insisted it is legally bound to collect funds on behalf of its clients, the statement said that “unfortunately the automated collection process may not take into account the social consequences for a particular person or family.”
The response, published by Moscow’s TV Dozhd, registered as a foreign agent by Russia’s Ministry of Justice, comes amid a public outcry after details of the case came to light. According to reports, the schoolboy was killed while walking across a ground-level pedestrian crossing at a railway station just outside Moscow. The 15-year-old is said to have been wearing headphones and did not hear the high-speed train coming down the tracks on its way into the Russian capital.
The young man, whose name has not been released, was thrown around 50 meters from the collision and died before emergency workers could get to the scene, sources say. According to Dozhd, Rosgosstrakh compensated the owner of the train, Russian Railways, for maintenance work in the aftermath of the fatal incident, and elected to collect damages from his family, alleging that he had violated station rules by being on the track.
“In order to avoid transfer of collection to the judicial stage and an increase in the amount of debt, you need to pay an amount of 400,972.37 rubles within 10 days from the date of receipt of this letter,” a letter to the family reportedly reads. The company is now looking into the best route to return the funds to the bereaved mother.
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