Thu, Apr 23, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Cathay Life loses court case over death by fright

ACCIDENTAL DEATH The Taiwan High Court rejected the company’s claim that the victim died of a heart attack caused by an irregular heartbeat


The Taiwan High Court has ordered an insurance company to pay out an accidental-death policy on a man whose family said he was scared to death by a burglar, media reported yesterday.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily said the Taiwan High Court ruled on Tuesday in the first case of its kind that Cathay Life Insurance must pay NT$1 million (US$290,000) to the family of Pan Chang-ming (潘昶銘), who died three years ago.

Pan, who was 24 at the time of his death, suffered moderate mental retardation. He and his parents returned to their home one day to find that a burglar had broken in and locked the door from the inside, the report said.

Pan's father forced the door open and the three of them chased the burglar upstairs. Pan collapsed on the stairs, apparently from fright. The burglar escaped, the report said.

Cathay Life Insurance refused to cover Pan's death, saying he had died of a heart attack caused by arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.

The parents sued Cathay Life, providing hospital records showing that Pan had not suffered from arrhythmia, which was confirmed by an autopsy, the paper said.

The Taiwan High Court accepted the hospital records and ruled on Tuesday, ruling against Cathay Life Insurance.

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