Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gov't proposes raising amount of damages for hepatitis B sufferers

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government has proposed raising the maximum amount of damages for people infected with hepatitis B through mass vaccinations in which the same needles were used repeatedly from 25 million yen to an estimated 30 million yen, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

The proposal to raise the amount was submitted to the Sapporo District Court through which the government has continued to seek a compromise agreement to settle a damages suit, the sources said.

The maximum amount of damages is planned for the families of those who have died and those suffering from liver cancer or serious liver cirrhosis.
The government also intends to raise the amount of damages for people suffering from mild liver cirrhosis from 10 million yen and for those suffering from chronic hepatitis from 5 million yen, the sources said.

But it has adhered to its position that asymptomatic carriers have no claim to damages on the grounds that 20 years have already passed since their vaccinations, eliminating the legal basis for compensation.

As the plaintiffs are demanding that all cases should be compensated for, it is uncertain whether they will reach a compromise agreement with the government based on the latest proposal by the end of this year. The two sides will meet Wednesday.
Hepatitis B is an infectious illness caused by the hepatitis B virus, which infects the liver and causes inflammation.

(Mainichi Japan) December 21, 2010

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