The Supreme Court on Wednesday approved the provisional seizure of NT$507 million (US$15.75 million) in assets of the chairman and top executives of the Formosa Fun Coast (八仙樂園) water park, where a dust explosion last year killed 15 and injured 508 people.
The joint motion was filed by 39 people injured at the water park in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) in a bid to claim financial compensation for medical expenses, earnings loss due to injuries and physical disabilities.
The total amount was based on the 39 victims’ claims of NT$13 million each against Formosa Fun Coast chairman Chen Po-ting (陳柏廷) and the park’s senior executives.
The original motion was approved by the Shilin District Court, but Chen and the park’s executives filed an appeal, saying that a separate lawsuit on the dust explosion disaster had acquitted them of responsibility in the case.
They cited a court ruling that did not find the company professionally negligent, as it had rented out the water park’s swimming pool area to event organizer Lu Chung-chi (呂忠吉) and Color Play Co (玩色創意) for the “Color Play Asia” party on June 27 last year, which turned into a deadly dust explosion.
They contended that Lu, as the event organizer, was responsible for the disaster, saying his negligence created dangerous conditions for attendees, who paid NT$1,500 each to participate in the event, and that he failed to meet fire safety requirements.
In the first ruling on the case on April 26, the Shilin District Court found Lu guilty of professional negligence, sentencing him to four years and 10 months in prison.
Most victims and their families expressed anger over the decision, saying the punishment for Lu was too lenient. Lu’s lawyers said it was too severe and filed an appeal.
A separate motion for provisional seizure of NT$170 million in assets filed by 13 victims against the water park and its executives in July last year had earlier been approved by the court.
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