An update to one of the most outrageous news items of 2008.
An American mother sued the Korean government Friday for 450 million won in compensation over her son's alleged drowning in a sauna in a southern city. The bereaved mother claimed that Korean paramedic management was poor and the legal system prevents people from helping others in emergency situations.
According to the Daegu District Court, Stephannie White, 41, has filed a compensation suit against the central government and local South Gyeongsang Provincial government for having ``let her son die due to poor emergency measures.''
The accident took place on May 10 last year, when White and her 14-year-old son Michael visited the Royal Hawaii Sauna in Gyeongsang, near Daegu. He was found unconscious in a pool soon after arriving. Emergency staff rushed him to a nearby hospital and tried to resuscitate him via cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but the boy was declared dead a few minutes later.
Best of luck to Ms. White, who deserves credit for continuing to pursue the matter. However, I would be very surprised if anything came of this.
You can read more about Michael and this story on the website his mother created, Mightie Mike. Give a listen to the two podcasts done with Seoul Podcast, too, here and here, or give the transcripts a read (a few choice excerpts here). They'll leave you speechless. And really really mad.
A few earlier posts on the topic:
** "Michael White's autopsy report released to press before family."
** "Vigils for Michael White hitting snares."
** "But at this point, the difference in law and culture at bathing places is what is likely to be at fault."
** "The suspicious death of 14-year-old Michael White."