Korean Law Demystified!

Family of Murder Victim Successfully Sue the Government for Police Blunder (in Korea)!

[Example Situation]


Norman is in a relationship with Mary. They like each other very much, but Norman’s mother hates Mary. One day, Mary and Norman’s mother get into an argument over the phone. Before hanging up, Mary tells Norman’s mother she’s coming over. Norman’s mother go gets a knife and waits for Mary. Seeing his mother like this, Norman is now scared and calls the police for help. He feels something’s about to go down! But the police mistakenly think Norman’s call is in relation to an already-reported incident nearby and pay no separate attention. Norman makes another call. The police are still mistaken. 24 minutes have now elapsed since Norman’s first call. Police finally realize Norman’s calls were in relation to an entirely separate incident! Police quickly arrive, but Norman’s mother has already stabbed Mary to death. Mary’s family sue the government. What is the likely outcome under Korean law?

The above example is similar to a case recently reported here in Korea.

I. The Ruling

The Seoul Western District Court found (partially) for the plaintiffs and ordered the government to pay them about 83 mil won (USD 73,000). The court saw the police 20% responsible for the death of Mary that day.

II. Reasoning

1. Had the police done their job properly, Mary’s death could have been  prevented especially since Norman’s mother was a 66-year-old woman.

2. The police should have known better because the two addresses were clearly different, and the dispatcher tried to get that point across.

3. The police are (only) 20% responsible because they did not partake in the actual killing + had no obligation to supervise Norman’s mother.

DID YOU KNOW? This happened in September 2015 in Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu.

Thanks for reading!

I also recommend this post: https://klawguru.com/2016/04/24/the-daegu-coed-kidnap-murder-case-of-2010/

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