The Taipei High Administrative Court rendered the 107-Su-1122-Zi Decision of February 14, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that although an administrative agency has its disposition authority at the time of its administrative disposition, still if it fails to differentiate varied facts of legal violation, the gist of discretion mandated by law would not be fulfilled. The exercise of the discretionary power would be reckless, resulting in discretionary laziness, and the disposition would also be illegal.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, Worker A, who had previously been directed or supervised by the Plaintiff, fell to the ground and died in an occupational accident when he was climbing over a parapet to take the reading on the water meter of a neighboring household in violation of the Plaintiff’s construction operation requirements. After sending personnel to inspect the accident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration affiliated with the Defendant believed that the Plaintiff was subject to circumstances of casualties in occupational accidents under Article 49, Subparagraph 1 of the Law of the Occupational Safety and Sanitation Law and disclosed the names of the Plaintiff and its legal representative in accordance with Article 49, Subparagraph 1 of the same law. Dissatisfied with the administrative disposition, the Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal, which was subsequently rejected. As a result, the Plaintiff brought this administrative action.
According to the Decision, Article 49, Subparagraph 1 of the Occupational Safety and Sanitation Law provides: “In any of the following circumstances, the names…of the business organization and of its legal representative ‘may’ be disclosed: (1) an accident under Paragraph 2 of Article 37…” Article 37, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph 1 of the same law provides: “If any of the following occupational accidents takes place in the work premises of a business organization, the employer shall report to the labor inspection agency in eight hours: (1) an accident involving any death has taken place.” Therefore, the Defendant had disposition authority to determine if to disclose the names of a business organization and of its legal representative in case of a worker’s death as a result of a building or operation activity in the job site of such business organization.
It was further pointed out in this Decision that relevant evidence showed that the Plaintiff had taken strict measures which completely prohibit its workers taking meter readings from jumping over to a roof platform which cannot be crossed from the edge of a balcony or jumping down an illegally constructed water tower. However, Worker A engaged in a method of climbing strictly prohibited by the Plaintiff without authorization in order to save time and ultimately died when he carelessly fell to the ground. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that the Plaintiff also had contributory negligence over this occupational accident. Since the original disposition did not indicate any willfulness or negligence of the Plaintiff in this occupational accident, and the Defendant did not elucidate such details about this specific occupational accident case during the preparatory proceeding of this lawsuit, it is difficult to conclude that the exercise of the discretionary power electing to disclose the names of the Plaintiff and its legal representatives was not reckless due to discretionary laziness. Therefore, the original disposition should be illegal. Hence, the Decision reversed the decision on the original administrative appeal and the original disposition.