Tainted Builder Fights off Suspension

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A court has issued an injunction against an eight-month ban of builder HDC Hyundai Development over a fatal accident on a demolition site in Gwangju.

The Seoul Administrative Court on Thursday granted the injunction filed by HDC saying, “There are concerns that the applicant could suffer from irreparable damage due to the business suspension.”

The Seoul city government suspended HDC’s business license on March 30 for eight months for failing to abide by building regulations, resulting in the collapse of a five-story building on a bus that was arriving on the roadside during demolition in Gwangju in June of last year, killing nine people and injuring eight.

That would have meant — and could still mean — that HDC can continue its current projects but not tout for new business during the suspension period.


The builder immediately sought an injunction. A Seoul City Hall official said, “We are considering whether to appeal.”

Legal experts say HDC could drag things out through the courts for years but its ultimate prospects are not rosy. On Wednesday, HDC was slapped with another eight-month suspension over another aspect of the same accident — failure to abide by duties of care — though this can be converted into a fine. It faces more trouble over an apartment collapse, also in Gwangju, that killed five workers and injured another. 

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