A former employee of a 50 Lan (50嵐) tea shop in Taichung is to receive a total of NT$340,000 in compensation after receiving first to third-degree burns after she dropped a kettle of boiling water due to being frightened by a cockroach.
According to a ruling yesterday, the employee, surnamed Lin (林), began working at the store in April 2013, about two months prior to the incident.
On June 1, Lin was taking a kettle of boiling water from the kitchen to the working area when she was spooked by a cockroach, adding that Lin let dropped the kettle and the boiling water spilled onto her lower limbs.
Lin was hospitalized at Taichung Veterans’ General Hospital for 30 days before returning home, the ruling said, adding that Lin sustained first and second-degree burns to her lower legs and third-degree burns to her feet.
While the store initially paid NT$46,000 in damages, Lin sued the store for compensation due to vocational hazards as well as violations of her rights, according to the notice.
The store, previously given a clean bill of health by sanitation inspectors and sterilized in May, was unable to prevent the presence of cockroaches, the ruling read, adding that despite written warnings, the store had not provided adequate safety measures nor actively taught or required its employees to follow safety instructions.
Compensation for the vocational hazards was set at NT$180,000, while violation of Lin’s rights amounted to NT$160,000, the ruling said, adding that the owner still owed Lin NT$290,000 after the initial payment of NT$46,000.
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