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Court exonerates company in death from overwork case

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Published : 2014-03-20 20:57
Updated : 2014-03-20 20:57

A South Korean court on Thursday ruled that an employer was not responsible for the death of an employee brought on by overwork if the illness was previously detected through a company-provided health check.

The Seoul District Court ruled against a woman surnamed Yoon, who filed a compensation suit against a broadcast company for her husband’s death in June 2010. The producer, surnamed Choi, died from liver cancer which was exacerbated by continuous overwork.

Yoon claimed that the employer did not take proper measures, such as a reduction of workload, in consideration of his deteriorating health.

The court, however, said the producer should have taken proper measures himself and demanded an adjusted workload from the company. In 2006, he was warned of his liver condition during a health exam provided by the broadcaster but he did not go for a follow-up health check or submit paperwork to the company concerning the illness.

Choi’s health worsened in January 2010, when he was required to handle several different projects at the same time. He went into recuperation after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in May that year, but died a month later.

By Suh Ye-seul (