Tobacco firms faced with compensation claim by national health insurance body

| December 20, 2013

South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) said on Wednesday that it will file a suit against cigarette manufacturers ‘as early as next year’, according to a story in The Korea Times.

“The NHIS will file a suit against tobacco companies to recover medical costs which it has incurred due to smoking-related diseases,” NHIS president Kim Jong-dae wrote in a blog post.

And an unnamed official at the NHIS confirmed the plan. “This is the official stance of the NHIS,” she said. “We plan to file a suit against tobacco makers as early as in the first half of next year.”

The defendants are expected to include both local and foreign tobacco manufacturers. “The NHIS will sue these companies before a decision is reached in a compensation suit filed by an individual which is pending before the Supreme Court,” Kim said, before adding that the Supreme Court had acknowledged that smoking could cause lung cancer.

If the NHIS sought compensation for the money spent on the treatment of tobacco-related diseases over a number of years, he added, the amount sought in a litigation settlement could climb into the “trillion-won level.”

Category: Breaking News

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