The Nagoya District Court has ruled that the family of a man with dementia who entered a railway line and consequently died after being hit by a train must pay compensation to the Japan Railway (JR) Group. The court concluded that the measures the family put in place to prevent the 91-year-old from wandering off by himself were insufficient.
The family is being ordered to pay damages after delays caused by the accident resulted in a loss of earnings for the company. The presiding judge at the court where the ruling was made on Aug 9, commented that the man wandered outside while his wife had her back turned, concluding that it was her responsibility to keep track of the man’s activities. The judge also suggested that although the man’s eldest son lived apart from the family, he was officially registered as a supervisor of the man and should have put measures in place to prevent this type of accident from occurring.
The elderly man entered onto the tracks at Kyowa Station in Obushi city, Aichi Prefecture in December 2007 where he was hit, and consequently killed, by a Tokaido main line train. The man had been diagnosed as requiring care in February of the same year.
In response to the judge’s ruling, the family contested that it was impossible for the wife, who was 85 at the time, to watch the man around the clock. However, the judge pointed out that if that were the case, the family should have sought outside support, but failed to do so.
Source: Nikkei Shimbun
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