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Doctor ordered to compensate insurer over false diagnosis.

OSAKA, April 26 Kyodo

The Osaka District Court on Friday ordered a doctor to pay 50 million yen in compensation to an insurance firm over a false diagnosis made in connection with an insurance fraud case.

Presiding Judge Yoshihiko Nakaji of the Sakai branch of the district court concluded the doctor wrote the false diagnosis for Kenji Hayashi, knowing his act would result in damages to Meiji Life Insurance Co.

The insurance firm had demanded the doctor pay the amount stipulated by the court.

According to the ruling, the doctor falsely diagnosed Hayashi at a hospital in September 1997 as being severely handicapped.

Based on the diagnoses, Meiji Life Insurance paid 50 million yen to Hayashi, 56, and his wife Masumi, 40, but in February 2001 the insurance firm filed a damages suit against the doctor demanding the money be reimbursed.

The Tokyo-based insurance firm initially filed a suit against the couple but they were unable to pay the sum though they admitted responsibility.

The doctor had denied any wrongdoing, saying he was not approached by the two to falsify a diagnosis.

Hayashi and his wife were indicted on charges of swindling insurance firms out of some 160 million yen by feigned illness from 1993 to 1997. Hayashi was sentenced to a six-year prison term by the Wakayama District Court in October 2000. The ruling was already finalized.

A defense lawyer for Hayashi said his client is unsatisfied with the ruling and that he will decide to appeal to the high court after careful study.

The fraud case came to light during investigations of a high-profile curry-poisoning case in 1998 in Wakayama city in western Japan which killed four people.

In addition to the fraud charges, Masumi was indicted on charges such as murder and attempted murder in connection with the case. She has been in a separate trial at the Wakayama District Court.

Masumi has denied all the charges related to the curry poisoning.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Apr 29, 2002
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