1st Asbestos Settlement with Maker Reached in Japan

Society

Osaka, Aug. 23 (Jiji Press)--Parties to a lawsuit on an asbestos-caused health issue agreed on a settlement at Osaka District Court on Tuesday, the first such move involving a manufacturer of the substance in Japan.

The bereaved family of a male construction worker and Japan Insulation Co. <5368> reached the settlement, in which the construction materials producer will pay to the plaintiff 12.87 million yen in compensation, almost on par with the maximum amount of benefits provided by the government under the asbestos victims relief law, or 13 million yen per victim.

According to the plaintiff's attorney, it is the first time in Japan that a settlement in an asbestos-related damages suit has been reached with a manufacturer.

Japan Insulation, based in the western city of Osaka and listed on the Standard section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, offered to settle the suit. The settlement includes an apology from the company.

The man, from the city of Nara, western Japan, worked as an exclusive subcontractor for the company's predecessor between 1981 and 1997, installing an asbestos-containing fireproof covering material on steel frames. He died in 1999 at the age of 74 after developing lung cancer.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press