Samsung’s cancer payouts plan excludes most victims

A compensation scheme for people harmed by toxic exposures while working for Samsung places so many restrictions on eligibility that barely three in every 10 affected workers will receive anything.

An analysis by Hankyoreh21 magazine found only 14 of 163 cases (8.5 per cent) examined definitely fell within the scope of the scheme. The South Korean weekly said eligibility criteria announced by Samsung in January mean 107 people (66 per cent) are excluded automatically from receiving any payout because they developed diseases not on Samsung’s approved list.

The firm announced that it would only provide compensation for seven groups of diseases: Five types of haematopoietic cancers (leukaemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, aplastic anaemia, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplasia) and two types of cancer that have been approved as work-related, brain and breast cancer.

Even then, rules on when and how and for how long a person was exposed and when they developed a potentially related condition further limit those eligible. And the scheme is only open to former employees. The widespread use of subcontract labour means many others harmed making Samsung products would be entirely off the firm’s radar.

SHARPS report. Risks 697.

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