The Tokyo District Court has ordered a hospital to compensate a 60-year-old man for all that he has endured after it was found out he was actually switched at birth. They need to pay 38 million yen (approx. US$375,000) in damages for the emotional pain caused by the switch as well as lost life opportunities because of the situation.
The switch happened in 1953 and the man’s suffering started when he lost his apparently non-biological father when he was just two-years-old. He then had to study at a night high school while working at a factory when he was older. He worked in a transportation company afterwards. The man who was switched with him had a much better life and got the chance to study at a university. His three younger brothers felt there was something wrong though because he hardly resembled them. This was confirmed through a DNA test in 2009 and upon further investigation, they discovered the mistake and found their real older brother. The three brothers, together with their real older brother then filed a lawsuit against the hospital, asking for 250 million yen ($2.46 million) in damages.
The court sided with the plaintiffs but gave a lower amount for damages. Presiding Judge Masatoshi Miyasaka said that the man was deprived of contact with his real family and feels sympathetic towards him for not having met his real parents, since by that time they already passed away. The social welfare corporation that runs the hospital called Sanikukai said they are still studying the court’s ruling before they respond appropriately.
[ via AFP ]