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U.S. court orders North Korea to pay $501 million in U.S. student's death


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U.S. court orders North Korea to pay $501 million in U.S. student's death

By Lesley Wroughton

 

2018-12-24T203325Z_2_LYNXNPEEBN0QY_RTROPTP_4_NORTHKOREA-USA-WARMBIER.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea since early January, is taken to North Korea's top court in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released by Kyodo March 16, 2016. Mandatory credit Kyodo/File Photo via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. court on Monday ordered Pyongyang to pay $501 million in damages for the torture and death of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 shortly after being released from a North Korea prison.

 

Warmbier's parents sued North Korea in April over their son's death. The 22-year-old student died days after he was returned to the United States in a coma, and an Ohio coroner said the cause of death was lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.

 

"North Korea is liable for the torture, hostage taking, and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier, and the injuries to his mother and father, Fred and Cindy Warmbier," Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said in her ruling.

 

Pyongyang has blamed botulism and ingestion of a sleeping pill for Warmbier's death and dismissed torture claims.

 

Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement they had promised their son justice.

 

"We are thankful that the United States has a fair and open judicial system so that the world can see that the Kim regime is legally and morally responsible for Otto’s death," the Warmbiers said.

 

"We put ourselves and our family through the ordeal of a lawsuit and public trial because we promised Otto that we will never rest until we have justice for him," they said. "Today’s thoughtful opinion by Chief Judge Howell is a significant step on our journey."

 

Howell's ruling was a default judgement, a type of decision entered against a party that does not appear in court. Default judgments against foreign defendants are often difficult to collect.

 

U.S. courts can compensate default judgement holders by ordering the seizure of funds or other assets located within the country, but that is unlikely in this case because sanctions prohibit North Korea from accessing the U.S. financial system.

 

The ruling comes at a sensitive time in U.S.-North Korea diplomatic relations, as the two countries negotiate the dismantling of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

 

President Donald Trump has said Warmbier did not die in vain and his death helped initiate a process that led to a historic meeting this year between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

 

Trump said in a Twitter message on Monday: "Christmas Eve briefing with my team working on North Korea – Progress being made. Looking forward to my next summit with Chairman Kim!"

 

He gave no other details. U.S. officials have said a second meeting between Trump and Kim is likely in the new year.

 

A student at the University of Virginia, Warmbier was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months starting in January 2016. He had been visiting the country as a tourist. North Korea state media said he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for trying to steal an item bearing a propaganda slogan from his hotel.

 

(Additional reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-25
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It will be paid at about the same time as when Kim disarms. That means NEVER, despite Donald's claims to the contrary.

Besides, Donald will probably vacate the verdict.

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Actions like this only make the US a greater laughing stock than it already is.  Especially at a time when it is targeting China.

They lose all credibility when they do these sorts of things.

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3 hours ago, colinneil said:

Why go to the bother of having a court rule that NK must pay over 500 million dollars?

Just a total farce, as there is no way it will ever be paid.

Not a total farce.

The US has North Korea's frozen assets of about $63 million in 2017 that could provide for potential payments for compensatory damages - a very narrow portion of the larger award.

"These cases are brought not for the money but for the "deterrent value."

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/24/politics/otto-warmbier-north-korea-judgment/index.html

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17 minutes ago, Srikcir said:

 

"These cases are brought not for the money but for the "deterrent value."

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/24/politics/otto-warmbier-north-korea-judgment/index.html

Lol... the only deterrent factor herein, would be a deterrent for NK to buy into Americana.

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

"We are thankful that the United States has a fair and open judicial system so that the world can see that the Kim regime is legally and morally responsible for Otto’s death," the Warmbiers said

Pretty sure that this is not what the world is seeing in this ill timed folly that could put even more pressure on stalling talks between the north and south Korea’s (and big brother.)

 

the legacy could have been that his death led to world peace.... but now that’s lost (perhaps not peace, but warmbiers sacrifice), his memory will be tarnished by this result.... which was a obvious as it was futile.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lantern said:

Bit of USA chest beating going on here methinks.

 

3 hours ago, car720 said:

Actions like this only make the US a greater laughing stock than it already is.  Especially at a time when it is targeting China.

They lose all credibility when they do these sorts of things.

These 2 posts seem to suggest the plaintiff was the U.S. government. This is not the case. The plaintiff were the deceased's parents.

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This is a farce, a grieving family have sat through this process to what end?a stupid award that will never be collected.

 The only winners will again be the Lawyers who will no doubt claim tax allowances for The monies that they don’t receive.

Merry Christmas, Santa forgot the gift of common sense this year....

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1 hour ago, Briggsy said:

 

These 2 posts seem to suggest the plaintiff was the U.S. government. This is not the case. The plaintiff were the deceased's parents.

Facilitated by the US judicial system... who’s determination is absurd, regardless of the impact on peace talks.

 

no other country on this planet, would have done this... no other governmental system, on this planet, would have facilitated this.

 

and even if it’s the deceased parents behind the court case.... it’s still the US as a whole, which will be mocked, and rightly so, as the judgement is from the US judicial system.

 

someone should have toned this down (perhaps the judge), after all, in what world does a wrongful death attract a 500 million dollar weregild.... this is more like an amount you’d see as war reparations than for an undetermined loss of life thru misadventure.

 

The family should look to the travel insurance company to make a payout.

 

and as is the case with other big lotto win, would this never ever payment be subject to American taxation?

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2 hours ago, Briggsy said:

 

These 2 posts seem to suggest the plaintiff was the U.S. government. This is not the case. The plaintiff were the deceased's parents.

Not really, it shows that US justice is a joke. How much do they award the US ex soldiers when they ask for justice from their own government?

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2 hours ago, FritsSikkink said:

Not really, it shows that US justice is a joke. How much do they award the US ex soldiers when they ask for justice from their own government?

What do you mean, "not really."

 

I can assure you that the plaintiffs in the case were the deceased's parents and not the U.S. government. There is no "not really" about it. It is a fact.

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I don't understand the belligerency towards this case. Firstly as it was correctly pointed out by Briggsy  this case was not initiated by the US government but by the family. There are three components in the award, damages (a person with and advanced degree can expect to earn about 4 million dollars in their life ) , plus other considerations, Pain and suffering ,and punitive. (what amount would punish someone sufficiently so  that they will think twise about doing it in the first place, or doing it again

  It might deter me,  If I thought that commiting a crime would cost me 2 million dollars , But it might not if I was  a billionaire. 

 So what amount of money would Compensate, Punish, and deter a nation such as NK ? 

 

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The USA thinks to be funny with their courts and fines. If they want anything they should go to The Hague and stop thinking anyone cares what the verdicts are within the USA, and even then N.K. will not give a damn. They are making themselves look like clowns more and more by the day.

Aside of all that, why the **** would you think 500M is reasonable for 1 human life? They should be happy with 500K if any USD would be paid. 
Is the USA also going to give all the people in Iraq that compensation in return?

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3 hours ago, sirineou said:

I don't understand the belligerency towards this case. Firstly as it was correctly pointed out by Briggsy  this case was not initiated by the US government but by the family. There are three components in the award, damages (a person with and advanced degree can expect to earn about 4 million dollars in their life ) , plus other considerations, Pain and suffering ,and punitive. (what amount would punish someone sufficiently so  that they will think twise about doing it in the first place, or doing it again

  It might deter me,  If I thought that commiting a crime would cost me 2 million dollars , But it might not if I was  a billionaire. 

 So what amount of money would Compensate, Punish, and deter a nation such as NK ? 

 

I don’t think I see belligerence in any posting.... incredulity yes... astonishment too, plus humor and mockery, but not belligerence.

 

anyway... your opinion of others feelings is yours.... and that’s ok

 

however, your comments regards amounts payable needs looking at, because by your logic, you appear to be suggesting that “fines” or “fees” or “monetary penalties” for wrong doings, should be according to ones financial situation... as in richer entities should pay more than poorer entities, which is very arbitrary and open to abuse, whereas standardization is finite.

 

but.... under Australian laws ( probably most commonwealth laws, and perhaps even American law), a “corporation” could be fined up to ten times that of an individual

 

regards punishing a foreign nation.... this is not really within the purview of a third parties district court system... this is something that should be addressed by an international court, perhaps by sanctions.

 

but now that the US court has acted thus, I would love to see them react to a similar case bought against them (eg; the seven year old Venezuelan child)... anyone care to put a dollar value on that? (assumedly, given the wealth of the USA in comparison to NK, sirineou would advocate for something far far higher than 500 million)

 

Anyway... that said.... trump has already stated that no American will be tried by another countries judicial system (perhaps to protect US interrogators or war criminals... if any exist), so I suppose the hypocracy is therein exposed.

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2 minutes ago, farcanell said:

I don’t think I see belligerence in any posting.... incredulity yes... astonishment too, plus humor and mockery, but not belligerence.

 

anyway... your opinion of others feelings is yours.... and that’s ok

 

however, your comments regards amounts payable needs looking at, because by your logic, you appear to be suggesting that “fines” or “fees” or “monetary penalties” for wrong doings, should be according to ones financial situation... as in richer entities should pay more than poorer entities, which is very arbitrary and open to abuse, whereas standardization is finite.

 

but.... under Australian laws ( probably most commonwealth laws, and perhaps even American law), a “corporation” could be fined up to ten times that of an individual

 

regards punishing a foreign nation.... this is not really within the purview of a third parties district court system... this is something that should be addressed by an international court, perhaps by sanctions.

 

but now that the US court has acted thus, I would love to see them react to a similar case bought against them (eg; the seven year old Venezuelan child)... anyone care to put a dollar value on that?

 

Anyway... that said.... trump has already stated that no American will be tried by another countries judicial system (perhaps to protect US interrogators or war criminals... if any exist), so I suppose the hypocracy is therein exposed.

I don't suggest what should be I only speculate about the reasoning behind the amount.

  Doesn't it make sense to you that strictly form a punitive  and deterrent point of view the amount awarded should be such that it would hurt enough so that it would punish and deter?

If let's say the award against NK was only 1 million,do you think such amount would deter and cause then to adjust their behaviour, or even get their attention? do you think it would get Bill gates attention? I am sure 501  million would.

  I am not advocating one way or another, simply making the above point.

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G

56 minutes ago, sirineou said:

I don't suggest what should be I only speculate about the reasoning behind the amount.

  Doesn't it make sense to you that strictly form a punitive  and deterrent point of view the amount awarded should be such that it would hurt enough so that it would punish and deter?

If let's say the award against NK was only 1 million,do you think such amount would deter and cause then to adjust their behaviour, or even get their attention? do you think it would get Bill gates attention? I am sure 501  million would.

  I am not advocating one way or another, simply making the above point.

Fair enough... I see where your coming from.

 

the objection that most have is with the validity of the district court finding... from the right to make the finding thru to the right to impose the penalty.... so when this concept lacks sense ( and lets not forget that the US is at war with NK), it’s hardly applicable to infer sense should be found further into it.

 

but that said.... I for one, am far more interested in equality under the law, and in following some kind of standard, which is not the case here.... and again, a foreign government should be tried by an international court, and perhaps be adjudicated by its peers (Other governments) with an eye to diplomatic relations and international repercussions

 

regarding varying standards... if Bill Gates drives drunk, I expect him to suffer the same penalties as would be applied to redneck rod, (although I doubt that redneck rod would get off as lightly.)

 

anyway.... when you live in a system where your leader discusses issuing himself a pardon for misdeeds, it’s easy to understand why Americans might have a different opinion on justice and how it should be applied (he’ll, I’m still confused by the OJ trials... if he did it, he should be imprisoned, if not, no prison... no prison means innocent, which means no payout for the alleged crime. Simplistic... but...)

 

and further, if the USofA is 10,000 times as wealthy as NK, would you advocate that they pay 5,000,000 million in similar circumstances...( what’s that, five trillion dollars?)... would you suggest that this is fair and right... or more to the point, appropriate and just?

 

next up... would you expect Danish courts to award the families of the two girls gruesomely murdered in Morocco, ( who’s family got a serious dose of pain and suffering with the murders posted to family social media accounts) 1000 million dollars, to be paid by ISIS or the Muslim faith... or Morocco?

 

I ask this because by extension, the US district court must think so... whereas the reality of extending this court finding/ award in this fashion, is a non starter... ergo the district court ruling is as much of a non starter

 

So... does it make sense in its totality (and one must consider the totality)? .... no. 

 

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Life is cheap in North Korea. Many North Koreans envy this young man for being dead. What a HORRIBLE regime.  NK is arguably worse than some of the Islamic hellholes that are giving the world so much misery.

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9 minutes ago, farcanell said:

and further, if the USofA is 10,000 times as wealthy as NK, would you advocate that they pay 5,000,000 million in similar circumstances...( what’s that, five trillion dollars?)..

 No, I never said directly proportional to an entities wealth, I said enough to hurt and get their/it's atension

10 minutes ago, farcanell said:

next up... would you expect Danish courts to award the families of the two girls gruesomely murdered in Morocco, ( who’s family got a serious dose of pain and suffering with the murders posted to family social media accounts) 1000 million dollars, to be paid by ISIS or the Muslim faith... or Morocco?

if the Morocco government and/or ISIS were responsible, Yes! why not? all responsible should be prosecuted and made to pay for their crime.

11 minutes ago, farcanell said:

but that said.... I for one, am far more interested in equality under the law, and in following some kind of standard, which is not the case here....

You confuse the law with justice.

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1 hour ago, sirineou said:

 No, I never said directly proportional to an entities wealth, I said enough to hurt and get their/it's atension

if the Morocco government and/or ISIS were responsible, Yes! why not? all responsible should be prosecuted and made to pay for their crime.

You confuse the law with justice.

Lol

 

not proportional? Then why compare rich and poor, using rich and poor individual as an example ( you vs bill gates) whilst stating that a fine that hurts one, might not hurt another... extrapolate that, and we are talking proportional... 500 million won’t hurt the US as much as NK, so 500 mill is therefore not enough to hurt/ penalties the US.... but ok... maybe I put to much thought into it

 

why not? Because you can’t use domestic courts to punish other soverign countries, or entities such as faith... it’s ridiculous.... especially when awarding ridiculous amounts. No one would even comment if it was five million, but 500? Beyond ridiculous... internationally irresponsible... which is why a domestic court is not equipped to judge an international case, nor authorized to.... maybe I’m putting to much thought into it

 

confusing law with justice... no I’m not. I instead lay that at your feet, as your suggesting that this is a just (justice) determination / fine... whereas I’m suggesting that it would probably fail in a legal (law) test... by the international courts.... but... maybe I’m putting too much thought into it.

 

too much thought? Definitely... as it won’t be paid by NK... making it some kind of pointless stunt that offers the potential for more harm than good.. but maybe... too much thought into it.

 

😂😂😂

 

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