26 Alcoholics in Korea File Lawsuit against Soju Makers

Lee Tae-hoon
Written by Lee Tae-hoon

A group of “soju addicts” in Korea have filed a lawsuit against two soju companies and related entities for the alleged “failure to warn the dangers of drinking alcohol,” according to local media reports on Wednesday.

The news reports claim that 26 alcoholics filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court, requesting 2.1 billion won ($2.06 million) in compensation from the two leading soju makers Hite Jinro and Muhak as well as the Korea Alcohol Industrial, the central government, the National Health Insurance Service and the Korea Alcohol & Liquor Industry Association.

“We have become alcoholics because they failed to warn the dangers of alcohol,” a plaintiff was quoted as saying.

“Liquor companies carry out massive advertisement campaigns, but their warning labels on liquor bottles are too small to read.”

The complainants also reportedly demanded that the government launch a public awareness campaign to raise awareness about alcohol addiction.

About the author

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon

Lee Tae-hoon is an award-winning investigative journalist and the CEO/founder of The Korea Observer. His fearless reports led to criminal charges against the heads of news and programming at Arirang TV and the conviction of the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Lee's investigative articles also led to the overhaul of the military’s overtime management system; a probe into politicians for dumping classified military documents; disciplinary action against officials at the Joint Chiefs of Staff for corruption; and the revision of school textbooks for exaggerating the propagation of Hangeul. He also exposed major hospitals’ practice of overcharging foreign patients, Boeing’s bribing of defense correspondents with sexual entertainment and many other ethical and legal violations. Lee received the Award for Outstanding Watchdog Journalism by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission and the Best Reporter of the Year Award by the Korea Times. You can reach him at