Architects, developers to pay NT$700 million for deadly building collapse: court

Tainan District Court spokesperson speaks at a press conference in Tainan on Thursday. (CNA)
Tainan District Court spokesperson speaks at a press conference in Tainan on Thursday. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — A local court ordered architects and developers to pay up to NT$700 million in compensation on Thursday following a building collapse that left 115 dead in Tainan in 2016.

A Class-Action Lawsuit

Wei Guan (維冠) residential building collapsed in the aftermath of a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit southern Taiwan on Feb. 6, 2016, injuring more than 200 people and killing 115. According to official tallies, a total of 117 people died in the earthquake.

The Consumers’ Foundation (消基會) represented 170 victims’ families and households affected by the incident and demanded more than NT$3.5 billion in a class-action lawsuit filed three years ago.

The court decided today that the five defendants, including the architects, developers and a technician are to pay up NT$700 million in compensation. Defendants are entitled to appeals, per the Tainan District Court.

The case was the first among four civil lawsuits filed in regards to the Wei Guan building collapse to reach a decision.

Defendants Found Guilty of Negligent Manslaughter

Last year, five people directly associated with the construction of the Wei Guan (維冠) residential building, including developer Lin Ming-hui (林明輝), were sentenced to five years in prison and NT$90,000 fine each on the charge of negligent manslaughter.

The decision came after an investigation found that developers cut corners in the construction of the building. Tin cans for cooking oil and polystyrene materials were found in the walls and pillars, the investigation found.

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