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High court drops TEPCO’s appeal against order for compensation to affected Fukushima worker

High court drops TEPCO’s appeal against order for compensation to affected Fukushima worker

http://www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/news/index.php?id=13357, December 17, 2020

In a lawsuit filed by a worker who was engaged in emergency work following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, the Sendai High Court on December 16 issued a ruling upholding a lower court decision, ordering Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay 300,000 yen in damage to the plaintiff.

In the court battle, the man, who worked for the TEPCO subsidiary Kandenko at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, stated that he experienced anxiety over health problems due to radiation exposure during emergency work he was assigned to do at the crippled nuclear power plant. According to the worker, he was assigned to emergency work that included connecting cables to a power panel in the basement of the No. 3 reactor’s turbine building. He suffered external exposure to radiation of up to 10.81 mSv and internal exposure of 5.8 mSv. The worker demanded a total of 1.1 million yen in damage from his company and TEPCO on the grounds that they failed to fulfill their responsibility to ensure workers’ safety.

At the appeal hearing, TEPCO demanded that the district court decision be reviewed because the amount of radiation which the worker received was less than that needed to be compensated.

The high court ruling pointed out that it is generally accepted that exposure to some levels of radiation may increase the risk of health problems such as getting cancer. Stating that the plaintiff’s health anxiety is understandable, the court turned down the utility’s demand.

At a press conference after the ruling, lawyer Hirota Tsuguo on behalf of the plaintiff’s legal team said, “It is significant that the court ordered TEPCO, which has dominant power in the nuclear power-related industry, to compensate the worker. The company should abide by the court judgement.”

Past related article:
> Radiation-exposed worker sues TEPCO [May 8, 2014]

January 7, 2021 - Posted by | Japan, legal

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