Switched at Birth Japanese Man Wins Lawsuit

Switched at Birth Japanese Baby

60 years ago, a Japanese baby won the vaginal lottery by being the eldest son born into a wealthy family. But then he was accidentally switched at birth and was raised in poverty by a single mother. Oops! Now he’s back for revenge: lawsuit style.

Another baby, born 13 minutes after the Japanese man at the San-Ikukai Hospital in Tokyo, was accidently given to the man’s biological parents. Honest mistake though – they all look the same. Babies, I mean… Anyways, that infant went on to live an affluent lifestyle complete with private tutoring and university. He is now head of a successful property firm.

The other baby didn’t have quite as cushy a lifestyle. After the man he thought was his father died, he and his three “older brothers” were raised by a single mother in a one-room apartment and were dependent on hand-outs from the government. The man went to night school while working day shifts in a factory before settling into a career as a truck driver. Instead of getting married, the man helps take care of his three “brothers”, one of who had suffered a stroke.

In 2011, when the family finally realized the man didn’t really look like any of his family members, they asked to see hospital records and requested a DNA test – which confirmed the switched at birth theory.

When the now 60-year-old Japanese man realized what had happened, he sued the hospital for mistakenly casting him into a life of poverty. Last week, the Tokyo District Court ordered the hospital to pay the man 38 million yen ($393,000) in damages as a result of the mix-up, significantly less than the $2.6 million the man was seeking and certainly not enough to make up for the fact that he will never meet his real parents, who died before the error came to light.

“The links between the man and his real parents were severed and the man was forced to grow up in a poor home,” Judge Masatoshi Miyasaka said in his ruling. “The mental anguish he went through was enormous.

“There were far-reaching differences between the two family environments and the plaintiff suffered an unreasonable loss as a result,” the ruling said.

“It is impossible to assess the scale of the pain and disappointment the parents and the man had to suffer, as they were deprived of opportunities to enjoy their parent-child relationship for ever.”

As for the man switched at birth, he told reporters at a Tokyo press conference last week that he was shell-shocked (and angry!) when he learned the truth.

I might have had a different life. I want (the hospital) to roll back the clock to the day I was born.”

True, his life would have been quite different. But still, while being born into wealth has its privileges, it doesn’t necessarily make you smarter – just luckier. Rob Ford is living proof of that.

Via: Sydney Morning Herald

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