2017 programme for HS victims

Building a swift and sustainable solution

Since May 2016, Oxy RB has accepted responsibility for the role Oxy HS has played in the HS issue.  We recognize we were too late in providing this apology.  Delays that increase the victims’  and family distress shouldn’t happen again.

Oxy RB is therefore committed to establish a solution for all outstanding victims of lung damage from the Oxy HS product that is sustainable and reflects the multiple causes of the tragedy. It also recognises the importance of providing for the long-term needs of victims.

Planning for future compensation programmes

Both the United Nations Special Rapporteur (UNSR) and National Assembly (NA) reports highlighted the multi-party nature of the HS issue.

They recognised that many companies including chemical manufacturers, product manufacturers and government regulators played a role in this tragedy: all must consider their individual responsibility.

While Oxy RB acknowledges that it sold the majority of HS products containing PHMG, it did not sell them all. Lessons must be learnt by all parties to ensure this cannot happen again.

The compensation to those Category 1 and 2 victims who are recognized by the government should be based on a fair allocation of responsibility for contributions between responsible parties along the entire supply chain.

What will a future Compensation Plan (CP) look like?

We do not consider it is fair for victims to have to navigate multiple different schemes and companies.

We believe it is vital that all responsible parties work to contribute to a single and commonly agreed compensation plan which is accessible to all outstanding Category 1 and 2 HS victims.

The Oxy RB Compensation Plan for Category 1 and 2 Oxy HS victims from Rounds 1 and 2 has now closed for registrations and 99% of eligible victims have registered. Both Oxy RB and the South Korean government have been unable to contact the 1 victim who had not yet registered.

We are currently compensating for Category 1 and 2 Oxy HS victims from Round 3 categorised on or before 10 August 2017

We would like to develop a similar framework for Category 1 and 2 victims in Round 3 categorised after 10 August 2017 with other responsible parties to make this an industry scheme.

We will work hard to engage other stakeholders, including the Korean government and other manufacturers and ingredient suppliers to try to find a long term and sustainable industry-wide solution for all Category 1 and 2 HS victims who are categorised after 10 August 2017 in further rounds.

New HS legislation

  • The HS Damage Relief Act was passed by the National Assembly in January 2017. It creates a framework for HS relief, but will require more detailed regulation to come into effect. 
  • The Act requires the Government to establish and operate a Special Relief Account for the benefit of:

    • Category 1 and 2 HS victims who cannot identify the HS manufacturer responsible for their HS injuries or whose HS manufacturer is in financial difficulty and unable to pay compensation

    • Category 3 and 4 HS users recognized by a committee to be set up under the Act as needing relief payments 
  • The Account will be funded by contributions of KRW 100 billion from HS manufacturers and KRW 25 billion from ingredient suppliers 
  • The Act also creates a statutory responsibility of HS manufacturers to provide damage compensation to HS victims for their lung injuries. It also provides

    • a presumption of causation where a substantial probability exists that a HS victim’s death or lung injuries have been caused by HS products containing harmful chemical substances verified to be toxic by the MoE, the MOHW or any other organization designated by a Presidential Decree

    • An extension to the time for bringing claims to the earlier of (i) the fifth year anniversary of the date on which the responsible HS manufacturer is identified or (ii) the 20th year anniversary of the date of lung damage occurrence 
  • The Act also establishes a Relief Committee, to be chaired by the Deputy Minister of Environment, to decide on information requests, recognition of HS Victims, pay out of Relief Payments and any review of the Law.