The Supreme Court rendered the 103-Tai-Shang-2076 Civil Decision of October 8, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Decision"), holding that the liability of an employer to compensate workers suffering from occupational hazards under Article 59 of the Labor Standards Law is a statutory compensatory liability of an employer and is different from the liability assumed for civil tort. The liable party shall not assert that the two types of compensation should offset each other.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant was employed by Chen Chang Co. as a trailer truck driver. One day after he transported an excavator to another job site of Li Tu Co., he was injured when Yueh-lung Chung, an employee of Li Tu Co., failed to notice him while performing his duty in operating the vertical part and component of the excavator. As a result, he requested that Li Tu Co., and Yueh-lung Chung pay joint and several damages out of the legal relationship of tort. The original trial court held in its decision that since the Appellant received occupational hazard compensation and insurance indemnification as a result of the incident at issue, such compensation and indemnification should be offset against the damages from Li Tu Co.
According to this Decision, the compensatory liability assumed by an employer under Article 59 of the Labor Standards Law is a statutory compensatory liability, which is different from the liability for tort under the Civil Code. Article 69 of the same law provides that the compensation paid by an employer pursuant to Article 9 may offset the damages paid for the injury arising from the same incident. The purpose is to prevent repetitive claims of a worker or any other claimant against an employer based on injuries caused by the same occupational hazard, which violates the principle of offsetting losses and gains. It was further pointed out in the Decision that since the Appellant did not request that Li Tu Co. to assume joint and several compensation liabilities under the Labor Standards Law but rather claimed damages from Li Tu Co. for the damage of reduced working capability as a result of Li Tu Co.'s tort. Since this is different from injury benefits or disability benefits, which are by nature compensation for the original wages and for disabilities, this is not a repetitive claim. Therefore, the types of compensation cannot offset each other. The decision of the original trial court was held to be illegal in this Decision on such ground and was reversed and remanded.