The incident had happened in October 2005, but because of malfeasance by at least one other Hyundai employee, there'd been difficulty in finding the guilty party. It wasn't until January 2009 that Lee was finally extradited (thanks in part, it should be noted, to cooperation by Hyundai) and put on trial for vehicular manslaughter. He was eventually found guilty in December 2009 and is serving a nine-year sentence.
And today we have news that Hyundai has settled with the Cook family over this wrongful death.
From the Orange County Register:
Cook's family sued Lee and Hyundai in May 2007. Their attorney, Wylie Aitken, claimed the company had a corporate culture of promoting drinking at company functions and that Hyundai executives helped Lee flee the country shortly after the incident.Damn straight about the corporate drinking culture. As I wrote in the comments of the "found guilty" link above:
Aitken also alleged Hyundai hid a key witness to the pre-crash drinking activities and the company's practices.
Cook's father, Carlton, said in a statement that he was pleased with the settlement.
"We are pleased the legal system has prevailed and that Youn Bum Lee was brought back from Korea and is now serving his sentence for the death of our son,'' he said in a statement.
This kind of thing could only have happened because of Korea's corporate drinking culture, which has been carried over to some Korean companies in Orange County and throughout California and the US. Not all Korean companies, of course, but the ones who do this should be put on notice that this kind of thing cannot be tolerated. Not in Korea, not in America.I wonder if my comments had anything to do with the plaintiff team's strategy. The comment above and the latter half of the April 2006 post were intended to highlight the culpability of that corporate drinking culture.