Guess being trapped underground with a gang of dudes for two months doesn’t pay quite as well as one would expect.
A lawyer representing 31 of the 33 miners says he filed the civil suit Friday at a Santiago court.
The lawsuit, the miners say, is not about the money, but about setting a precedent so that such an accident does not happen again. On August 5 of last year, a cave-in at the San Jose mine trapped the 33 for months in an ordeal that ended with their heroic rescue.
The lawsuit accuses the government agency that oversees mining of failing to ensure safety measures, CNN Chile reported.
“This lawsuit is only to set a precedent so this won’t happen again,” said miner Omar Reygadas. “It’s so that conditions improve.”
The miners are demanding $541,000 each, though some miners said they did not know the amount of money until they read about it in the media.
Reygadas, in an interview with CNN Chile, said that he was not even aware that their attorney was filing a lawsuit against the government. He thought it was a lawsuit against the owner of the mine.
The lawsuit is not a slap at the government of President Sebastian Pinera, whose team coordinated the rescue, Reygadas said. Rather it was at the state in general for allowing the conditions that led to the accident, he said.
It cost somewhere between $10 million and $20 million to rescue thee cats. we’re pretty sure the Chilean government doesn’t need a reminder not to let this happen again.
But while the miners said that money wasn’t the primary goal, Reygadas said that it would be helpful to a majority of them.
“There’s a myth that us miners have a lot of money, but that is not the truth,” he said.
In the aftermath of the rescue, the miners received donations and assistance that totaled to more than $17,000 each, he said. Some have been able to pad that with income from motivational speeches.
But they have not been able to work since the mine incident because of psychological issues, Reygadas said.
It is true that the miners have been treated to all-expense paid trips around the world as they basked in the fame of having survived their ordeal, but they didn’t make money off it, he said.
“For us to have become millionaires, we would have had to find a jackpot of gold inside the mine and brought it up with us,” he said.
Reygadas estimated that a “majority” of the miners had money problems, “some more than others.”
But it’s not about the money though.