Woman to get compensation for 2nd-hand smoke from neighbors


TAIPEI–The New Taipei District Court ruled Monday that a man and his son should pay NT$24,900 (US$753) to a woman for letting the smell of the smoke of their cigarettes spiral up to their neighbor’s apartment.

The woman, surnamed Chen, filed a suit in court stating that since Hung and his son moved downstairs in December 2013, their frequent smoking in the bathroom, back balcony and elevator caused hazardous substances to infiltrate into her home through public air ducts, subjecting her to their second-hand smoke.

Chen said she had tried to coordinate with the Hung family through the housing management committee, but has not seen any improvement in the situation.

Chen said that the fumes from the smoke has caused her to suffer from coughing, sneezing and breathing difficulties on numerous occasions, as well as affecting her nervous system and heart circulation.

In an attempt to filter out the noxious fumes, she purchased two air cleaners.

She filed the suit to demand that the Hung family cease from allowing the smoke fumes to waft into her home and pay her NT$50,000 in compensation for mental distress.

But the Hungs countered that there are more than 10 smokers in the community and the smell at Chen’s home could not be solely attributed to them.

The judge said that Chen’s numerous photos of her air cleaners, which displayed yellow or red lights, indicated the fumes had seriously affected her quiet life and had exceeded the bounds of what a reasonable person could be expected to tolerate.