Kyocera Corp. accepts responsibility for worker's death from overwork

The parents who sued a leading Japanese high-tech component maker over their son's death, apparently from overwork (Karoshi), won their five-year court struggle.

In a court-mediated settlement reached in the Sendai High Court on March 12 Kyocera Corporation accepted its responsibility for the death of Omori Mitsutaka, then 29 years old.

Omori died of a heart attack in October 1996 during his business-stay in Hong Kong. His parents argued that an excessive workload drove him into a deadly fatigue, and filed a lawsuit against the company and its Hong Kong subsidiary for compensation in August 1997.

Kyocera Corporation agreed to pay his family 50 million yen (about 385,000 U.S. dollars) in settlement money, and promised to provide a substantial health care plan for Kyocera workers.

The 69 year-old father commented, "Our suit was over, but karoshi has not been ended. Nobody should be onlookers, and I will do my bit to get rid of karoshi." (end)