The chief of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser apologized to the victims of the company’s toxic humidifier sterilizer products at a court hearing on Oct. 25.
Ata Safdar appeared at the Seoul Central District Court as the representing director of the Korean unit of the British firm, which is standing trial as a defendant on charges of violating the Act on Fair Labeling and Advertising.
“Firstly, I want to say that we are sorry for the great tragedy that is happening,” he said during the trial. “I want to provide my and our company’s apology, as well as on behalf of the global CEO.”
The humidifier disinfectant case, one of the worst scandals involving consumer products using chemicals, came to light after four pregnant women died of lung problems for unknown reason in 2011.
A government-led investigation later confirmed a connection between scores of people who died of lung problems and the chemicals used to clean household humidifiers.
Safdar admitted to all the allegations raised against the company, such as using false information to advertise its products.
“The company has strengthened all the features, aspects that caused such tragedy and we do hope the Korean society accept our regret,” he added.
The hearing was also attended by former CEOs of the household goods maker John Lee and Shin Hyun-woo, who are standing trial on a string of charges in relation to the case.