The Kobe District Court has awarded around 32 million yen as compensation to the family of a man who died from pleural mesothelioma due to the asbestos released by the machinery manufacturer Kubota Corp. The court held Kubota responsible and has ordered them to pay the family of Kojiro Yamauchi of Amagasaki. Apparently he died at the age of 80 in 1996, and he worked at a factory situated 200 meters away from Kubota’s former Kanzaki factory for about 20 years until 1975.
According to Wikipedia, prolonged inhalation of asbestos can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to amphibole asbestos), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). This is the first time such a ruling has been passed, squarely holding a company responsible for asbestos-related damages and extending it to areas around a facility.
Although two families had filed suit, in light of their kin succumbing to asbestos-linked disease, the court ruled that Kubota was responsible to pay damages for only one of the deaths. The plaintiffs appealed for compensation from the government, however the court ruled the state was not liable. The plaintiffs expected a bigger compensation and had claimed almost 79 million yen from Kubota and the government, but now have to settle for less.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan