South Korean Court Mandates Compensation for Sewol Ferry Disaster Survivors

SEOUL — The Seoul High Court has upheld a decision ordering the South Korean government to compensate survivors and families affected by the tragic 2014 Sewol ferry sinking, which resulted in the loss of 304 lives, predominantly high school students.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The court ruled in favor of 55 survivors and their families, mandating the state and Cheonghaejin Marine Co., the ferry's operator, to pay 80 million won ($60,314) to most survivors. For six individuals who suffered significant aftereffects, compensation was increased by 2.2 million won to 40 million won.

This ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by 76 survivors and their family members who rejected the government's initial compensation offer under a 2015 special law, arguing that it did not fully unveil the truth behind the catastrophe. After a 2019 district court ruling, 21 plaintiffs accepted the compensation, but the remaining 55 pursued an appeal, leading to the recent high court decision. This legal outcome emphasizes ongoing efforts to address the consequences of one of South Korea's most devastating maritime disasters.

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