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Farmworkers´ Families Get Worker´s Compensation

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Family members in Mexico of 13 farmworkers killed in a 1999 crash in Central California are receiving nearly two million dollars in California worker compensation payments. The 13 killed and two others injured had been involved in tomato picking before the farmworker van was hit by a truck making an illegal turn.

A California judge ruled earlier this year that the benefits should be paid because the workers were required to use the labor contractor´s transportation to and from fields. The crash also resulted in a four million dollar settlement with the families and crash survivors by the farmworkers´ employer and the truckdriver.

The Mexican government handed out symbolic checks yesterday in Mexico City to some of the family members. The checks were symbolic to help prevent the families from being robbed. The actual payments from California worker compensation funds will be made at a later date.

Most of the victims in the crash near Five Points were riding on wooden benches in the van. The crash led to a change in California law that requires farmworker vehicles to have seat restraints and factory-made seats.