Court says bank not responsible for deaths of workers in 2011 tsunami

Feb. 26, 2014 at 12:30 PM

SENDAI, Japan, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A Japanese court has ruled a bank is not responsible for the deaths of three people who evacuated to the roof of the building during the 2011 tsunami.

Relatives of the employees had sued Shichi-ju-shichi Bank, claiming it should have foreseen a tsunami would have been higher than the 32-foot-tall building, Japan Today reported Wednesday.

The three employees were among 12 bank workers who died as they sought protection from the massive tidal wave when it hit Miyagi prefecture March 11, 2011. A 13th person on the roof survived.

In his ruling, Sendai district judge Norio Saki said, "It would have been difficult to predict that a tsunami 20 meters (66 feet) high would hit the building."

Family members of the three employees had sought $2.2 million in damages.

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