SEOUL, June 7 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s top court has ruled in favor of residents living near a Naver Corp.’s main office building who filed a suit for compensation claiming that they suffered from the light reflected on the glass exterior surface of the building.
The ruling made it possible to sue for prevention of reflected light and it is the first ruling that provides standards to judge similar cases.
The Supreme Court returned the case to the Seoul High Court last week, overturning a lower court’s ruling against the plaintiffs, 68 residents living in Seongnam, south of Seoul.
In 2011, the residents filed a suit for compensation for damages suffered from the light reflected from the glass exterior wall of the Naver’ main office building, and asked the company to take measures to minimize reflections or block the light.
They won the first trial, but in the second trial, all of the residents’ claims were dismissed.
At the second trial, the judge ruled that in everyday life when you do not look directly at reflected light, there is no visual problem, and the reflected light can be sufficiently blocked with curtains, adding that the extent of damage the reflected light causes to the everyday life of the residents can’t be seen as exceeding the level of tolerance.
The Supreme Court, however, overturned the ruling of the high court, saying, “The degree of disturbance to life should be judged on the basis of comprehensive considerations including the angle, intensity and time of the reflected light inflow.”
“Nonetheless, the appeal court narrowly interpreted the degree of disturbance to life simply as damage on health such as blurred vision and disturbance to visual works.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)