Japan Top Court Backs Hepatitis B Relapse Sufferers


Tokyo, April 26 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court overturned on Monday a high court ruling in 2019 that denied damages to hepatitis B patients with relapses citing the expiration of the 20-year eligibility period.

The top court's Second Petty Bench unanimously ruled that the 20-year countdown for claims began when the two plaintiffs had relapses, sending the case back to Fukuoka High Court for damages to be calculated on that basis.

Symptoms the plaintiffs suffered after the relapses began were "peculiar," and medical science has not yet identified when such symptoms may occur, the petty bench said.

The relapses caused damage different in quality from that when they first developed symptoms, and the count should thus begin when the two had relapses, the ruling said.

Presiding Judge Mamoru Miura gave an additional opinion requesting the government to fulfil its responsibility appropriately to resolve the issue entirely.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press