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April 19, 2006

Mitsubishi Ordered to Pay $47,000 in Damages in Japanese Death Case

According to a Houston Chronicle article, on Tuesday a Yokohama district court ordered Mistubishi Motors to pay $47,000 in damages to the mother of a woman who was crushed while walking on a sidewalk by a wheel that detached from a Mitsubishi truck.  The wheel detached from a truck that was one of the models that Mitsubishi later recalled in a scandal that surfaced in 2000 when the company acknowledged that it has been systematically concealing defects for decades.  The claimant, Yoko Masuda, the mother, sued for $1.4 million in damages.  Her attorney, Katsuji Aoki, said he would appeal the court's ruling.  He said the award was too small and he faulted the Japanese legal system for failing to permit punitive damages, which are not permitted in products liability cases under Japanese law.  Japan has a products liability law, passed in 1994, but suits under the law are relatively rare.  By Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer.  For a good recent article discussing Japanese litigation, see Tom Ginsburg and Glenn Hoetker, The Unreluctant Litigant?  An Empirical Analysis of Japan's Turn to Litigation, 35 J. Legal Stud. 31 (2006).

MKS

April 19, 2006 | Permalink

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