• Kyodo


Relatives of three of the four people who died in 1998 after eating curry laced with arsenic filed a 30 million yen lawsuit Tuesday against the woman sentenced to hang for the mass poisoning.

The suit against former insurance saleswoman Masumi Hayashi, 41, was filed with the Wakayama District Court.

The lawsuit specifically blames Hayashi for killing Takatoshi Taninaka, 64, Takaaki Tanaka, 53, and Miyuki Torii, 16, by putting arsenic in curry served at a neighborhood festival July 25, 1998.

The plaintiffs, one representing each victim, are demanding 10 million yen each for their emotional anguish.

Hayashi pleaded not guilty at her criminal trial, but in December the Wakayama District Court sentenced her to death.

The family of the fourth victim, Hirotaka Hayashi, 10, has sought redress from the hospital that treated him, saying he did not receive proper treatment. That case was rejected by the district court and they have appealed to the Osaka High Court.

Thirty-eight people who were sickened by the poisoned curry filed a damages suit for some 107.5 million yen against Hayashi in 1999, but the relatives of those who died did not take part.

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