Three years ago, Tokushima Prefecture announced the name of a ramen shop where a person infected with the new corona stopped by, and the shop was damaged by rumors. It will be handed down by the Tokushima District Court.
The store side complained that it was unfair to announce it when there was no urgency such as the occurrence of clusters, but the prefecture side argued that it was justified to call attention, and the court's decision is attracting attention. .
In July 2020, when the new corona infection entered the second wave nationwide, Tokushima Prefecture announced the name of the ramen shop where the 20th infected person confirmed in the prefecture stopped by for about 20 minutes.
Regarding this, the store side filed a lawsuit with the Tokushima District Court seeking compensation of 11 million yen from the prefecture, claiming that the store name was made public without consent and suffered serious reputational damage.
At the trial, the store said, ``There was no urgency or need for a cluster to occur, and when the name of the store was announced, it did not mention that the employees tested negative. ' claimed.
In response, the prefectural government argued, "It's justified to alert unspecified customers who are at the store to the possibility of infection and prevent the spread of infection. The store's consent is not necessary."
The judgment of this trial will be handed down on the afternoon of the 25th.
Attention will be paid to how the court will judge the government's announcement of the name of the restaurant where the infected person stopped by and the unusual lawsuit questioning the validity of the method.
The hardest thing was slandering the store without reason
The ramen shop “Ooken”, which Tokushima Prefecture announced as a destination for those infected with the new corona, was a popular local shop where there was sometimes a line.
Owner Jun Kondo, 50, said that as soon as the name of the restaurant was made public, the number of local customers suddenly stopped, and sales plummeted.
The hardest part was the unfounded slander against the store.
On Internet bulletin boards, there were a series of heartless posts such as "If you go to the store, you will get infected," "I started corona ramen," and "Coronaken," and I thought about closing the store.
About that time, Mr. Kondo said, ``I was infected even though I was not infected, and the wrong information grew, and it became 'what is not there, what is there,' and the impression was that it was a very dangerous store. I felt like I was being held down. There were times when it was so heavy that there were no customers at all, and it was a tough situation for six months to a year,” he recalls.
Before the ruling, Mr. Kondo said, "Publishing the name of the restaurant is a serious matter, and it will be a matter of life and death for the restaurant. In the future, I don't want other restaurants to experience the really painful time I experienced, so I would like to ask the prefecture and I would like the public health center to admit that there was something wrong with the response at the time.I hope that the judgment will include at least one sentence that calls for the government to review its response."
Tokushima Prefecture Explained that it was announced because consent was obtained from the store
Tokushima Prefecture announced the name of the plaintiff's ramen shop in July 2020, when the country entered the second wave of new corona infections.
In January of this year, the first infection was confirmed in Japan, and the first infected person was confirmed in Tokushima Prefecture in February.
After that, the number of infected people in the prefecture remained at most one or two people a month, but by the end of July, the number of infected people was confirmed every day.
Against this backdrop, Governor Iizumi held a press conference on July 31st.
In the form of ``additional information provision'' regarding the 20th infected person in the prefecture announced the day before, the plaintiff verbally announced the name of the ramen shop where the plaintiff stopped for a meal.
At that time, he explained that he had obtained consent from the store, so he made it public.
Both sides argued against each other, and the court did not recommend reconciliation
The store countered that it did not agree to this announcement.
After the store name was announced, the number of customers suddenly stopped, and the store claimed that it had suffered serious reputational damage. rice field.
In the trial, it was disputed whether the prefecture's public announcement at the time and the method was appropriate.
On the store side, the infected person stopped by for just 20 minutes and ate ramen, and there was no outbreak or cluster of infected people at the store, so there was no need or urgency to announce the name of the store.
In addition, he argued that the prefecture's response was unfair, saying that it was just announcing the name of the store and not mentioning that the employee was negative, and that no measures were taken against reputational damage.
In response, the prefecture aimed to prevent the spread of infection by calling attention to the possibility of infection to unspecified customers who happened to be in the store.
Considering the social situation surrounding the new corona at the time, I have argued that there was no problem with the announcement.
Also, regarding whether or not there was consent to the publication of the store name, the store complained, "I repeatedly told you to stop publishing it. I absolutely do not agree."
On the other hand, when the prefecture was informed of the possibility of the announcement in advance, "I understood that consent was obtained because the store said, 'It can't be helped.' It has not been done,” he claimed.
In August of last year, the court recommended a settlement while the two sides were at odds with each other.
According to the store's lawyer, the prefecture expressed its gratitude to the store for cooperating with the store's burden of announcing the store's name in exchange for the store's abandonment of the claim for compensation, as well as its regret that the store's name was made public without their explicit consent. It means that a settlement proposal was presented that included the content of expressing one's intention.
However, no settlement was reached and a judgment was reached.