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UN rejects damage claim for Haiti cholera victims

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013

Concannon told The Associated Press: "We're disappointed because the U.N. is passing up a chance to stop cholera's killing, and to show leadership in promoting the rule of law."

Mario Joseph, lead attorney for the victims, added: "It is disgraceful that the U.N. will not even consider compensating the thousands of families who have lost their children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters due to the UN's wrongdoing."

Concannon, a co-counsel for the victims, said the institute's next step will be to go to a national court to seek compensation for the victims, "but we haven't decided which one yet," possibly in Haiti, the United States or Europe.

The institute was seeking a minimum of $100,000 for each bereaved family and $50,000 for each cholera survivor.

When the compensation claim was filed with the secretary-general and the claims unit for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti in 2011, Concannon said he hoped the U.N. peacekeeping force would create a lifesaving program that would provide sanitation, potable water and medical treatment. He also said he wanted a public apology for the victims.

In December, Ban announced a $2.27 billion initiative to help eradicate cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, and vowed to work aggressively to secure donations for the ambitious but still mostly unfunded 10-year plan.

Nesirky said Thursday that the secretary-general "again expresses his profound sympathy for the terrible suffering caused by the cholera epidemic, and calls on all partners in Haiti and the international community to work together to ensure better health and a better future for the people of Haiti."