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12 Dec 2014

Want China Times

RCA pollution trial begins in Taipei

The first trial of the lawsuit against Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was held in Taiwan's Taipei District Court on Friday. Lawyers for both sides were expected to make their final arguments…

Chen Wei-jian, head of National Taiwan University's College of Public Health, blasted RCA for…ignoring the hazardous effects it would have on the environment and workers after it closed its doors…Chen said it was legal loopholes that allowed such unethical businesses practices to take place.

…The US company opened factories in Taoyuan and Hsinchu in northern Taiwan in 1967. During its 22 years of operation, over 80,000 people were empl[o]yed…Emissions from factories included carcinogens…the harmful effects of which were not brought to light until…1994.

An RCA Pollution Victims Aid Organization was set up in order to track down workers whose health was affected…The group has…tracked down 1,451 former employees, yet 260 have already died…None of them have received any compensation.

The organization, formed by…former…workers, flied the lawsuit against RCA, General Electric and three foreign companies in 2004. However, due to the fact that that…the fact that the statue of limitation…[had] expired…the court did not summon victims until 2009. The organization demands compensation of NT$2.4 billion (US$77 million)…