• Kyodo

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The Chiba District Court has denied an insurance payment to a woman over the 1998 death of a man she was living with, ruling she is not eligible to receive the money because the man was apparently poisoned — possibly by her.

The Chiba District Court’s Sakura branch handed down the ruling Wednesday in the civil suit filed by a 38-year-old Filipino woman registered as the beneficiary in the man’s life insurance policy, court sources said Thursday. Their names have not been released.

The man, a construction worker, died in August 1998 at age 34.

“It can be assumed that the man died because of acute poisoning for insurance money,” Judge Junichi Takeuchi said in the ruling.

Salicylic acid, which can be toxic, was detected in the man’s liver and kidneys, and the woman “was able to” give the substance to him, the judge said.

Salicylic acid is easily obtained as it is contained in products like aspirin, but it can be deadly in high doses.

Chiba police said they are continuing their investigation into the case. The woman has not been charged with the man’s death.

The woman, who was living with the man in Shiroi, Chiba Prefecture, was seeking to collect 45 million yen from Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co.

According to the court, the man took out life insurance with two underwriters 10 weeks prior to dying after claiming nausea. Death benefits totaled 78 million yen.

Dai-ichi had filed a lawsuit to nullify the contact, claiming the woman, with her lover, poisoned the man, and the woman filed a countersuit. The other firm paid the insurance money.

The woman told reporters at her home in Shiroi that she felt “empty” when she heard the decision. She said she does not mind if she will not receive the insurance money, but wants to know the truth.

The judge said the woman was pregnant when the insurance contracts were concluded.

She says the deceased was the father. He registered himself as such with the local government, the court said.

But the court said that the father is strongly assumed to be someone else and that the woman made him contract the insurance by falsely convincing him that he was the father.

The court said another construction worker, 30, who lived with the woman, also died in 1995 after contracting life insurance.