TAKAMATSU, Kagawa Pref. – The Kagawa Prefectural Government on Tuesday called on the Takamatsu District Court to reject a damages suit filed against the prefecture by parents of an infant who died from abuse at a local nursery school.
The suit was filed by the parents of Hitoki Fujishima, who died in February, age 1, after being abused at Kobato Yojien, a private nursery school in the town of Kagawa.
They are demanding a total of 98 million yen from the former head of the school, the prefecture, and a doctor at Kagawa Medical University who conducted an autopsy on the boy.
The suit notes that the child died at a hospital after being severely injured by the former nursery head, 60-year-old Katsuyo Tani, who was later charged with the boy’s slaying.
In their first trial session Tuesday, the parents claimed the prefecture had failed to check up on the running of the school, despite the fact that it was aware that Tani had abused another infant at the facility.
During Tuesday’s trial session, the prefecture claimed it should not be held responsible as it had taken appropriate measures to deal with the situation.
The parents also demanded compensation from the doctor, who initially judged wrongly that the infant had died from sudden infant death syndrome.
The doctor denied any wrongdoing during Tuesday’s hearing and claimed that his autopsy report had not had a negative impact on the investigation.
Tani acknowledged in court that she is responsible for compensating the family but that she wants the court to decide on the amount.
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