Friday, August 27, 2010

Woman ordered to pay damages to neighbor over noise from hitting futons

OSAKA -- The Osaka District Court on Aug. 24 ordered a 63-year-old woman to pay 1 million yen in damages to her 72-year-old male next-door neighbor after years of bothering him with noise by hitting futons.

The woman exceeded a court-ordered limit that had been agreed to in an earlier settlement, and the neighbor brought the woman to court, seeking 1.86 million yen in damages for infringing on his right to live peacefully.

In handing down his decision, Judge Akihiro Takemura said, "The futon hitting exceeded the limit that social norms dictate could reasonably be withstood, and infringed on the victim's rights. Additionally, the defendant did not take sincere efforts to respond (to the victim's complaints)."

According to the court ruling, the woman had been bothering her neighbor by frequently hitting futons ever since he moved next to the woman in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, in 2000. The two residences' outer walls are only a meter apart at their closest, and the problem could not be resolved even after the man brought the issue up with the neighborhood association.

In April of 2005, the man filed with the Osaka District Court for an injunction to stop the futon hitting. A settlement was reached on conditions including that the woman would not hit futons more than twice a day, would not hit for 10 minutes or longer at a time, and would not hit between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

However, even after the settlement, the woman continued to hit futons more than the agreed upon number of times. When the man complained, she is said to have responded, "If you don't like it, go away," and hit the futons even more loudly.

The Mainichi Daily News

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