The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the liability of the family of a 91-year-old man with dementia who was killed by a train after wandering onto railway tracks.

The precedent-setting decision is of great significance in a graying society in which the number of dementia patients is projected to increase significantly.

The "groundbreaking" ruling thoroughly favored the family of the dementia patient, said lawyer Teruhiko Asaoka, who represented the family.