Judgement of Seoul Administrative Court on medical care benefit for former Samsung workers

Two South-Korean Samsung workers got seriously ill while working on the semiconductor assembly line. After applying for medical care benefit, Samsung decided to disapprove their applications, saying that it could not recognise a proximate causal relationship between their duties and their disease.

Judgement of Seoul Administrative Court on medical care benefit for former Samsung workers

Two South-Korean Samsung workers got seriously ill while working on the semiconductor assembly line. After applying for medical care benefit, Samsung decided to disapprove their applications, saying that it could not recognise a proximate causal relationship between their duties and their disease.  

Yoo Myung-hwa (born on 19 September 1982), employed by Samsung
Electronics Co. Ltd. on 4 July 2000 while in her third year in high school, was working in the Onyang plant doing tests (MBT) on the semiconductor assembly line when she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia around November of 2001, after which she took sick leave and leave of absence before resigning on 21 March 2003 and applying for medical care benefit to Samsung on 13 May 2010. Consequently, Samsung conducted an epidemiological investigation through the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI), and decided on 13 September 2010 to disapprove Yoo-Myung-hwa's application for medical care benefit, saying that it could not recognise a proximate causal relationship between her duties and her disease.

Lee Yoon-jung (born on 10 January 1980), employed by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on 12 May 1997 while in her third year in high school, worked in the Onyang plant doing tests on the semiconductor assembly line and resigned on 15 July 2003. But when she was diagnosed with brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme) around May 2010, she applied for medical care benefit to the defendant on 23 July 2010. Consequently, Samsung conducted an epidemiological investigation through OSHRI, and decided on 7 February 2011 to disapprove the Lee Yoon-jung's application for medical care benefit, saying that it could not recognise a proximate causal relationship between her duties and her disease.

After filing this lawsuit on 7 April 2011, decedent Lee Yoon-jung died of brain tumor on 7 May 2012. Her husband, Chung Hee-su, as the first in line to inherit, became the successor to this lawsuit.

While working as production workers (operators) in the test process in the Onyang plant of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the plaintiffs were exposed to hazardous substances such as benzene, formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, lead and nonionizing radiation, and it was in a state of chronic fatigue and stress due to their duties involving 12-hour rotating shifts and highly intensive labor that they developed aplastic anemia and brain tumor. Therefore, the proximate causal relationship between the plaintiffs' diseases and their duties should be recognized.

 

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