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Naha court awards family ¥120,000,000 settlement

Date Posted: 2005-01-20

The doctor at Chubu Hospital in Okinawa City worked hard.

He worked long hours as an intern in the otolaryncology department, rarely taking a day off. He typically worked 346 hours in a month, seeing patients well into the evening.

It killed him eight years ago, and now an Okinawa court has ordered the hospital to pay compensation to the doctor’s family. The doctor had died minutes after seeing a patient. He tried to stand up, couldn’t, and fell down into a coma. He never recovered.

The family sued the hospital, saying “my son was working too much. The 346 hours is almost killing people. Nobody can live that long time to go to work.” They sought ¥199,000,000 in damages, but the court directed them to “Make peace and reconciliation.” The court directed a payment of ¥120,000,000, which the family accepted.

The Court recommended that the prefecture watch doctors more closely, noting that a doctor’s working hours should be strictly monitored. “Don’t let them work too long.”

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