The South Korean government today said there was a link between conditions at a Samsung factory and the cancer case of one of the Chaebol's workers. The ruling was made earlier this month, but was revealed today when compensation for the worker's family was made public.
The Korean labor ministry recognized that the worker, referred to only by her surname "Kim," was exposed to organic solvents and radiation, but admitted that it was difficult to quantify the amount of exposure to harmful substances. It judged that there was a "considerable cause-and-effect relationship" between Kim's cancer and the five years she worked at a semiconductor factory. An activism group accused Samsung of not installing a radiation detector at the factory, and says Kim was exposed to benzene and other carcinogens; its claims have not been substantiated.
Kim died in March, aged 36, and worked for Samsung from 1995 to 2000. The exact amount of compensation wasn't disclosed, but the Associated Press cites a spokesman as saying it will be equivalent to almost four full years of pay. There have been three prior cases where Samsung was found to have contributed towards diseases, and the manufacturing giant is free to appeal the decision. At the time of writing, Samsung has not publicly commented on the ruling.
Hyunhu Jang contributed to this article