Send to

Man acquitted of murdering wife wins her life insurance benefits

June 9, 2023 - 16:19 By Lee Jung-youn

A man of Korean nationality, acquitted on charges of murdering his pregnant wife of Cambodian nationality, has won another lawsuit against an insurance company.

The Seoul High Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the second trial against Samsung Life Insurance filed by a man surnamed Lee, Thursday. The second trial court ruled that Samsung Life Insurance should pay about 202 million won ($155,000) to Lee and 60 million won to Lee's daughter as compensation for delayed death insurance and death benefits.

The court also ordered Samsung Life Insurance to pay a total of 6 million won per month to Lee and his daughter by June 2055, which makes the total amount of compensation 3.1 billion won.

On Aug. 23, 2014, Lee hit a truck parked on the shoulder of the road near Cheonan on the Gyeongbu Expressway, while driving in a vehicle with his wife. His 24-year-old wife, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the accident, died at the scene.

After the accident, the prosecution handed Lee over for trial on charges of murder and insurance fraud, citing Lee had made his wife sign up for more than 25 insurance policies from 2008 to 2014 that named him as the beneficiary. Sleep-inducing drugs were also detected in the wife's blood, increasing suspicions of Lee's wrongdoing. If Lee is compensated by all of the insurance policies for his wife's death, he could receive up to 10 billion won in death benefits as her beneficiary.

However, the court found him not guilty of murder and fraud, saying, "The motive for the crime is not clear." Lee had pleaded guilty only to accidental homicide via the traffic accident, and was sentenced to two years in prison in March 2021.

Earlier, Lee and his daughter also won in a lawsuit against the Korea Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives in April this year, which is the first Supreme Court ruling to confirm victory among Lee's claims. Lee's cases against several other insurance companies are ongoing.