TWO VENEZUELANS who were injured by a falling tree in Woodford Square on Monday are now considering legal action against the State for compensation.
Yuliannys Pérez, 19, and Jairo Fontt, 22, who are both unemployed, were sitting on a bench in Woodford Square, Port of Spain, last Monday, when a tree suddenly snapped in two and fell on them.
Caught underneath it, they were helped by passers-by and police who were on the spot.
Emergency services took them to the PoS General Hospital.
After being discharged from the hospital, Perez told Newsday on Wednesday, "We were walking around the city looking for work and decided to sit in Woodford Square in front of the Red House to rest.”
She said the accident happened while they were praying for God to help them get a job.
“The tree made a strange sound and fell immediately, without giving us time to move. There was no wind.”
The couple comes from the city of Guiria in the Venezuelan state of Sucre. Fontt has been in TT since last February and Perez since April. They live in St James.
Perez was fired from her job last Saturday, while Fontt has been unemployed for three months.
"We are alive by the mercy of God," added Perez.
The two have scratches on their arms, legs, necks, backs and faces. In addition they have injuries that caused swelling and pain and might make some physical activities impossible. Doctors told them the pains might last more than a month.
Perez said she told doctors her neck was very painful, but they were unwilling to give her a surgical collar. A Venezuelan friend lent her one.
Perez also said she was not given her medical report and was told only the police were authorised to do so.
Fontt said the doctors gave them three tablets, adding, They also sent us to buy other medicines on our own, but we have no money.”
The pair said so far, no TT government agency had offered them any assistance or asked about their injuries.
They said they went to the Living Water Community to ask for help but were refused.
They also went to the Venezuelan Embassy, where the consul, Ricardo Sánchez, promised to help them.
Fontt said, "We do not have work, we have no food, nor money to pay rent. We are practically unable to work, and someone must take responsibility, it is not possible that a tree that looked old had not been cut down before an accident (happened)."
The two said they were in talks with a local lawyer on proceeding with a complaint against the relevant authorities if they do not get help.
The pair said they would consider taking legal action if they could not get help.
Fontt said,"We do not have work, we have no food, nor to pay rent, so we are practically unable to work and someone must take responsibility, it is not possible that a tree that looked old had not been cut before an accident."
The two said they were in talks with a local lawyer to proceed with a complaint against the relevant authorities.