In a landmark ruling, the nation’s top court on Thursday turned down smokers seeking compensation from the country’s largest tobacco firm for causing cancer.
Thirty-six cancer patients and family members of smokers who died from cancer filed compensation lawsuits against the government and tobacco and ginseng products maker KT&G Corp. in 1999.
Ending a 15-year-long prolonged fight on two rare tobacco lawsuits in Korea, the South Korean Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that there is lack of proof that smoking was the cause of their cancer.
The latest cases are the last of four compensation lawsuits against tobacco firms brought in Korea, all by individuals or families.
So far, there has been no precedent in the country of successful legal action against a tobacco firm.
By Suk Gee-hyun