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Mom, firm in crane case ordered to pay

Kyodo

The Utsunomiya District Court on Wednesday ordered the former driver of a truck-mounted crane who killed six schoolchildren in a 2011 accident, his mother and former company to pay about ¥125 million in damages to the victims’ parents.

Presiding Judge Akihiko Iwatsubo said the 28-year-old man, who was given a seven-year prison term for causing the deaths of the schoolchildren after having an epileptic fit while driving, his mother and the former employer in Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, were responsible for compensating the 11 parents.

The crane plowed into the six children in Kanuma after he had a seizure in April 2011. Thirty-four kin had sought around ¥380 million in redress from the man, his mother and the company.

The families argued the mother shared blame because she did not stop him from driving on the day of the accident even though she knew he hadn’t taken his epilepsy medication the night before.

They also said the company overlooked his epileptic symptoms and failed to supervise him.

The mother countered that she was not obliged to stop her son from driving. The company argued it did not have direct responsibility for the accident.