REPORT No. 111/10
CASE 12.539
MERITS
SEBASTIAN CLAUS FURLAN AND NEXT OF KIN
ARGENTINA
October 21, 2010

II.

SUMMARY

1.
Mr. Danilo Furlan (hereinafter “the petitioner” or “Danilo Furlan”) lodged a petition
against the State of Argentina (hereinafter “the State”, “the Argentine State” or “Argentina”) on
behalf of his son Sebastian Claus Furlan (hereinafter “the alleged victim” or “Sebastian”). It is
alleged in the petition, which was filed at the OAS office in Argentina on July 18, 2001, that the
State violated the human rights of Sebastian and his family resulting from a delay of more than 13
years in paying him compensation for damages stemming from the accident sustained by Sebastian
when he was 14 years old, when a crossbeam which he hung from fell on his head causing him
irreversible brain injuries. The accident occurred in an abandoned training field belonging to the
Argentine Army.
2.
The petitioner further contends that the court-ordered damage award was not
enough to cover the expenses associated with Sebastian’s recovery and to make sure that he has
enough to live on, in light of his permanent limitations resulting from the accident, which render him
unable to hold a steady job. Lastly, the petitioner argues that the State was tardy in paying the
damages, in addition to which payment was made in bonds, which led to a significant decrease in
the amount of the reparation given.
3.
The State concurs with the petitioner as to the sequence of the main events
pertaining to the accident, the seriousness of the injuries sustained by the alleged victim and the
objective division of responsibility established by the court (70% of State responsibility due to the
state and the conditions of the abandoned field and 30% of responsibility of the victim).
Notwithstanding, the State alleges that the delay in the course of the civil damages proceedings
cannot be attributed to the State; inasmuch as such delay was due to negligence on the part of the
petitioner’s attorney. The State further claims that it did not violate the right to judicial protection
by paying the petitioner compensation in the form of bonds, while arguing that the means of
execution of domestic judgments falls outside of the scope of protection of the American
Convention. The State also contends that consideration of the alleged insufficiency of the amount
of the award falls outside the competence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Commission”, “the Inter-American Commission” or “the IACHR”). Lastly, it argues
that it did not violate the right set forth in Article 19 of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”), inasmuch as the mere fact that
Sebastian was a minor at the time of the accident does not imply a violation of the rights of the
child established in said provision.
4.
In this report, the IACHR concludes that the Argentine State is responsible for
violation of the right to be heard within a reasonable time (Article 8.1), the right to judicial
protection (Article 25, sections 1 and 2.c), the right to personal integrity (Article 5.1), the rights of
the child (Article 19) in conjunction with the general obligation to ensure human rights (Article 1.1)
of the American Convention to the detriment of Sebastian Claus Furlan. With regard to his next of
kin, the IACHR concludes that the Argentine State violated the right to personal integrity (Article
5.1) of his father (Danilo Furlan), his mother (Susana Fernandez), his brother (Claudio Erwin Furlan)
and his sister (Sabina Eva Furlan); as well as the right to be heard within a reasonable time (Article

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