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Japan court awards $16m to asbestos victims and their families

Published on Dec 5, 2012 7:25 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese court on Wednesday ordered the government to pay S$16 million to 170 former construction workers and their bereaved families over exposure to asbestos.

The Tokyo District Court however rejected the plaintiffs' claim that private construction materials firms should also be held responsible for the health problems of their workers.

The lawsuit was brought by representatives of 337 people who became ill or died as a result of their exposure to a material used widely as insulation until the mid-1980s.

The plaintiffs accused the government and 42 companies of failing to take adequate safety measures despite knowing about the dangers associated with the material, which can cause cancer.

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