The death of a Japanese Toyota engineer in January 2006 has now been attributed to working too many hours according to an official ruling this past month. The 45-year-old man, lead engineer on the Toyota Camry Hybrid, was reportedly working an average of 80 hours overtime per month during the several months before his death from ischemic heart disease. The official ruling allows his family to collect benefits from his work insurance, and Toyota is saying they will work to improve monitoring of the health of their workers. Let's hope they mean it, because this occurence, known as "karoshi," has steadily increased since the Health Ministry first recognized the phenomenon in 1987.

It's especially tough to see someone work themselves to death in a white-collar job as opposed to going out doing what they love. We're not saying engineers don't enjoy what they do, but it's a shame to see a life wasted creating a boring mid-size sedan that gets slightly better fuel economy. We imagine that somewhere, Eric Stromer is laying a single rose on his Camry Hybrid. [Yahoo News](image)