Tepco ordered to pay damages to nuke evacuee

Kyodo

The Kyoto District Court has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay millions of yen in damages to a man who evacuated Fukushima Prefecture due to the March 2011 nuclear disaster, sources close to the matter said on Monday.

It is the first time a court has ordered Tepco to pay damages to an evacuee from the prefecture due to the triple meltdown after the devastating earthquake and tsunami three years ago.

The man in his 40s and his family relocated to Kyoto and filed a ¥130 million damages suit in May 2013, claiming that a mental disorder linked to the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant made him unable to work. He asked for a damages payment last December, citing economic difficulties.

The court issued its decision last Tuesday, ordering Tepco to pay the man a provisional amount of ¥400,000 per month for a year.

“Many people might have accepted low damages through out-of-court settlements, giving up on damages suits due to the time-consuming processes before rulings,” a lawyer for the man said. “The decision could be useful for people to file damages suits even while being in economically difficult positions.”