San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Patient Who Sued Employer Loses Battle Against Cancer

MINOR Murillo, a cancer patient who sued Lanier de Costa Rica S.A. for discrimination and gained a landmark victory earlier this year, died from the disease last week at 53, leaving behind his wife, Dora Nigro, and five children, the daily Al Día reported.


In March, Lanier de Costa Rica laid Murillo off during a labor reorganization; he took the matter to court, alleging that he was fired because he suffered from lymphatic cancer, diagnosed six months earlier, according to ACAN-EFE wire service.


Lanier rehired Murillo, who had worked for the company for 29 years, in September after the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) ruled in favor of his reinstatement, according to a statement from the company.


However, Murillo’s lawyer, Roberto Quirós, told Al Día that after rehiring him, the company was only paying him the equivalent of 25% of the salary he earned before getting laid off, and the legal battle will continue even after his client’s death. In its September ruling, the court ordered Lanier to pay the damages involved in the complaint, but did not specify an amount.


The company released a statement expressing its condolences to Murillo’s family and announcing the firm will no longer comment publicly on this case in respect to Murillo’s memory, the daily reported. Lanier denies having discriminated against Murillo.


Lanier General Manager Gabriel Echeverría said the company has distinguished itself for offering its 107 employees “labor stability without discrimination of any kind.”


The Sala IV ruling marked the first time a Costa Rican court had ruled that an employer discriminated against an employee because that person had cancer, according to ACAN-EFE.

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