In 2013, the Seoul Administrative Court recognized as an industrial accident the death of Kim Kyong-mi, who died of acute leukemia in 2009 at the age of 29 after working at Samsung’s semiconductor production lines in Giheung, just of Seoul, between 1999 and 2004.
The Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, the state agency that rules on industrial accident cases, appealed the ruling.
However, the Seoul High Court upheld a lower court’s ruling Thursday, saying that Kim is presumed to have died of acute leukemia due to her exposure to radiation or such toxic chemicals as benzene. The court also said such exposure is presumed to have caused her illness and death, according to the court official.
Officials of the Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service were not immediately available for comment on Sunday.
In 2011, the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of the families of two other former employees who died of acute leukemia after working on Samsung’s semiconductor production lines. The court recognized their deaths as work-related for the first time.
In 2014, the Seoul High Court upheld a lower court’s ruling, but the Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service did not appeal the ruling.
In May, Samsung Electronics officially apologized for the first time for the deaths and suffering of its semiconductor workers and promised to pay compensation.