A court has ordered the government and the operator of the ill-fated Sewol ferry to pay reparations to the survivors of the deadly sinking in 2014.
The Suwon district court on Monday announced its ruling on the damage suit brought by 76 survivors and their family members against the state and the Cheonghaejin Marine Company.
The court ordered defendants to pay 80-million won, or around 71-thousand U.S. dollars, per survivor for mental distress. Up to 16 million won will be paid to family and siblings of students who survived the maritime tragedy.
While recognizing less-than-effective rescue efforts by the coast guard and faulty operations by Cheonghaejin, the court noted there are clear links between the maritime legal violations and the mental distress of the surviving victims.
The Sewol ferry sank en route from Incheon toward the southern Jeju Island on the 16th of April 2014, while carrying 476 people, including many high school students on a school trip. A total of 172 passengers and crew survived but 304 died or are still missing.