Victims’ families seek US$80m over deadly Taiwan waterpark explosion
TAIPEI (The China Post/ ANN) - Many of those injured in the explosion, which occurred when coloured powder ignited during a concert in New Taipei, spent the past year in and out of the hospital, scarred “eternally” from "burns to their bodies".
UPDATE: The currency in the heading has been changed to US dollar.
The Consumers' Foundation (CF) filed a class-action lawsuit Monday on behalf of nearly 100 family members of victims who were injured or killed in the Formosa Fun Coast explosion in Taiwan last year.
The day marks exactly one year since the deadly dust explosion that occurred June 27, 2015, when colored cornstarch powder used for party effects ignited, engulfing partygoers in fire.
"The explosion injured almost 500 people. Among them, 15 people lost their lives. We stand here today, with a heavy heart, to represent 98 plaintiffs seeking the justice they deserve," CF Chairman Alan Lu said.
The compensation being sought in the suit, which targets 12 defendants, including multiple company heads allegedly responsible for the accident, amounts to more than NT$2.6 billion (US$80 million).
Defendants include Lu Chung-chi, the head of the local firm that organised the Colour Play Asia party at the water park, who was found guilty of negligence causing death and injury and sentenced to 4 years and 10 months in prison by the Shilin court in April.
According to the foundation, records showed that the 484 people injured in the blast had all been released from hospital as of June 6.
Those represented in the suit include 22 family members of the deceased and 76 relatives of the injured victims.
Many of those injured in the explosion, which occurred when coloured powder ignited during a concert in New Taipei, spent the past year in and out of the hospital, scarred “eternally” from "burns to their bodies," Lu said.
‘Scarred for life’
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), 281 of the victims suffered burns that covered over 40 per cent of their bodies, including 41 people with burns to over 80 per cent of their bodies.
Attorney Wu Jung-ta said compensation includes medical fees, mental distress, funeral expenses and other costs incurred by victims and their families.
Wu said the defendants seek mental-distress compensation amounting to NT$5 million for victims that experienced injury to 5 per cent of their bodies, and NT$10 million for those with injuries to more than 5 per cent of their bodies. Compensation sought for the families of the deceased for mental distress alone accounts for more than NT$1.2 billion.
“We hope in this lawsuit, the judges would rule for the defendants to pay a record-breaking sum in mental-distress compensation for the lifelong suffering the victims and their families have to endure,” stressed Wu.
(US$1 = NT$32.53 as of 6/28/2016 via oanda.com)