located in their neighborhood in Ciudadela. Sebastian was hanging from a crossbeam (travesaño)
that had served as part of an obstacle course, when the beam fell on his head with the force of 45
to 50 kilograms. The accident left him unconscious and bleeding, with a fractured skull.
13. The petitioner reports that Sebastian was taken to the hospital, and underwent brain
surgery.He remained in a coma for some 20 days. When he was discharged a month after the
accident, he had a limited ability to speak or move his limbs. His father affirms that Sebastian was
left with irreversible cognitive, psychological and physical damage. His father reports, for
example, that Sebastian went from being a boy adept at sports to spending months learning how
to walk again. The petition recounts that the cognitive damages mean that Sebastian operates at
the level of an adolescent, and that his disabilities mean he cannot study effectively or hold a
regular job.
14. The petitioner recounts that, in view of the extent of the damages suffered by Sebastian and
need for treatment and care, he instituted judicial proceedings on his son’s behalf in the Juzgado
Nº 9, Secretaría Nº 28 seeking compensation for the consequences of the accident. Those
proceedings, ”Furlan Sebastian Claus c. Estado Nacional s/ daños y perjuicios” were resolved at
first instance by the Juzgado Nº 9 in a decision dated September 7, 2000.
15. The decision, a copy of which was presented with the petition, concludes that the State bore
responsibility for having created a situation of risk. It was undisputed that the field was owned by
the State (the Armed Forces), had been abandoned for years, and was open and unfenced. The
court concluded that it was habitually used by children for play and sports, and was regarded as a
public space by local residents. The decision indicates that the State did not contest the facts of
the accident, but argued that Sebastian Furlan and his parents bore responsibility for his having
entered the area.
16. The decision reflects that the court dismissed the State’s arguments to the effect that
Sebastian’s parents bore responsibility, but determined that the 14-year old Sebastian Furlan
himself bore 30% of the responsibility for the accident. The court allocated an award of damages
of 130,000 pesos in favor of Sebastian based on the 70% of the responsibility that pertained to
the State. (That is, 130,000 pesos less the 30% corresponding to the responsibility of the victim.)
Both parties appealed the decision at first instance, which was confirmed in all principal aspects by
the Sala Civil y Comercial Nº 1 de la Cámara de Apelaciones Nacional en lo Civil y Comercial
Federal in a decision dated November 23, 2000.
17. The petitioner notes that the judge who was in charge of the case at first instance for almost
ten years, and who knew the proceedings, was replaced shortly before the case was decided by a
judge from another court who decided the matter without fully understanding it. He considers that
the court of second instance gave the matter insufficient attention, and failed to properly analyze
the case.
18. At the time of the filing of the petition, the petitioner had not yet been able to collect on the
award of damages. He reported in March of 2003 that the judgment had finally been executed. He
affirms that the total award, with interest, was 165,803 pesos. While pesos were equivalent to US
dollars when the judgments were issued in 2000, the national currency was devalued following the
economic crisis at the end of 2001, and the petitioner alleges that the award of damages thus lost
more than half of its value. Moreover, he affirms that the judgment, issued in terms of pesos, was
executed in bonds only redeemable for full value in 2016. He argues that, if cashed at the time
they were issued, the bonds were only worth 30% of their nominal value. He maintains that,
given that the judgment was issued in terms of pesos, he should have been paid in pesos and not
in bonds of lesser value. He contends that the value of the compensation as discharged is
equivalent to approximately 10,000 $US, and that this is grossly insufficient as a basis to provide
the care, support and treatment his son needs throughout his life.


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