A Shimadzu Medical Systems employee installed a device to trigger X-ray equipment malfunction

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OSAKA – Precision instrument manufacturer Shimadzu Corp. revealed that an employee of one of its subsidiaries had intentionally installed a device to trigger malfunctions in X-ray equipment at five medical institutions, including a government hospital, in Kumamoto Prefecture.

An employee of the Kumamoto sales office of Shimadzu Medical Systems Corp. installed a digital switch that closes a circuit, disabling X-ray equipment after a period of time, during maintenance inspections from 2016 to 2018, the Osaka-based manufacturer said Friday.

The employee billed the facility for parts replacement, claiming the malfunction was a mechanical failure. Repair costs totaled 7.5 million yen to 10 million yen.

Shimadzu plans to compensate medical institutions and consider measures to prevent the recurrence of such cases.

The scam was exposed by a whistleblower in late April and the company confirmed the details by interviewing the employee in question and investigating the person’s activity records.

The employee has been furloughed and the company is considering disciplinary action.

The firm set up an outside committee of lawyers and others to investigate the matter.

“We take the matter very seriously and will make efforts to regain trust,” a Shimadzu official said.

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