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Korean relatives demand huge death compensation

By Liu Sheng (Global Times)

09:42, October 28, 2011

The family of a Korean man killed in a car accident in Anhui Province is appealing for a 1 million yuan ($157,400) compensation settlement arguing it is in accordance with Shanghai's living standards.

Joung Jea-hoon, 41, who worked as middle-level manager at a shoe company in Xuancheng, was hit and killed by a taxi May 8.

Local police identified the taxi driver, surnamed He, as being solely responsible.

The biggest dispute between the two sides is the compensation amount, said Wang Shaochun, the judge of the case at the Xuancheng Intermediate People's Court.

The 1,010,000 yuan includes 50,000 yuan for emotional compensation, 630,000 yuan in death compensation, 80,000 yuan for the upbringing his 11-year-old daughter and 190,000 yuan for supporting his parents. Joung's wife is also Korean.

"The case should proceed according to Chinese law since the victim lived and worked in China, but it turns out the case is more complicated due to his foreign identity. This is the first expat-related compensation case we have had in Xuanchuang," Yang Xuejun, director of the research center of the Xuancheng Intermediate People's Court, told the Global Times Thursday.

The plaintiff claimed because Joung was a foreigner, they deserve the compensation standards of Shanghai, which boasts the highest due to local living standards and income level.

While the defendants, including the driver, taxi company and insurance company, claim they could only compensate according to the local living and income standards of where the case is settled.

"This compensation they require is pretty high even in Shanghai," said Sun Yunkang, a lawyer specializing in criminal law from Shanghai's Eastjie Law Firm.

In Chinese law, both Chinese and foreigners should be compensated according to the living standards of where the accident happened. There's a specific formula to calculate the figure, he added.

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