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2014 February 26 - March 4 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Man sues Watami’s home catering company for negligence in his mother’s death

February 27, 2014
A man living in Yokohama City on February 26 filed a lawsuit against a meal delivery service provider belonging to the Watami group with the Yokohama District Court, claiming that the company failed to fulfill its duty to confirm his mother ‘s health condition which led to her death.

The company is Watami Takushoku Co., which delivers meals to elderly people who have difficulty in preparing meals by themselves. It is a member company of the Watami group which was founded by Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Councilors Watanabe Miki and is notorious for its harsh and exploitative working conditions.

The company also provides a service in which delivery staff are supposed to make sure the user is OK when making the deliver, and if not, they are to inform the user’s family members or medical facilities.

The plaintiff used this service. One day, a delivery worker visited his mother’s house in Yokohama City. Although she did not answer, the worker took no appropriate response and she was found dead on the following day.

One of the plaintiff’s lawyers criticized the Watami-related company for not having a manual or training system for the service. Another stressed the problem is that the company imposes an extra responsibility on delivery staff whose workloads are already heavy.

The plaintiff said that he wants the company to apologize to him.
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