Samsung cancer caused by work


A former Samsung worker was a victim of occupational cancer caused by exposures at the electronics giant, a South Korea court has ruled. The Seoul administrative court ordered the official compensation agency KCOMWEL to pay industrial disease compensation to the family of Kim Kyung-mi, a former Samsung Electronics Co Ltd employee who died in 2009.

Kim began work as a wafer etcher at the Giheung plant of Samsung in 1999, after graduating high school. Until 2004 when she got married, Kim worked at the same plant where Hwang Yu-mi, the first court-acknowledged victim of Samsung’s blood disorder cluster, developed leukaemia.

In 2008, Kim was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia after she suffered bruise-like rashes on her body. The following year, she died, aged 29, after undergoing unsuccessful bone marrow transplants. KCOMWEL twice rejected petitions by Kim’s family for workers’ compensation.

In February 2013, her family brought a lawsuit against the workers’ compensation entity, leading to this month’s ruling. Additional court actions are pending. A number of other cancer cases in Samsung workers have now been recognised by the courts as work-related.

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