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December 17, 2012

South Korea Says Samsung Chip Plant Caused Cancer in Worker

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

Samsung (News - Alert) is often thought of as being one of the most well respected and well known tech companies in the world. Whether talking about its smartphones, tablets or televisions, people know that Samsung is one of those companies that they can rely on for high quality technological equipment. If one South Korean agency is to be believed, it appears that Samsung might soon be known as a company that gives you breast cancer. A worker at a Samsung chip plant died from breast cancer earlier this year and the agency is saying that working at the chip plant is what caused the cancer.

The Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service announced their findings on Friday; the same day they announced a financial award for the employee’s family. The agency is a branch of the South Korean labor ministry. The agency ruled that the employee, who worked for five years at the chip plant, as well as other evidence provided to the agency was enough to form a "considerable causal relationship."

Image via Shutterstock

This particular finding is unique because of how rare it actually is. The Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service has fielded as many as 30 different claims, which stated that working at the Samsung chip plant has caused a wide variety of different ailments and diseases. While those 30 are still being reviewed by the agency, another 12 have already been rejected and are currently being appealed in Federal Court.

The South Korean agency is similar to the Workman’s Compensation agency in the U.S. It collects insurance payments from companies doing business in the country. When an employee becomes unbearably sick they file a claim with the agency rather than their employer. The agency would not say just how much the actual payout to the employee’s family would be, but officials said the usual payout is about four years worth of salary.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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