The Supreme Court rendered the 104-Tai-Shang-2438 Civil Decision of December 23, 2015 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that article 197 of the Civil Code applies mutatis mutandis to non-property damage and consolation claims asserted on the ground of the obligor’s nonperformance, which will lapse if not asserted in two years beginning with the claimant’s knowledge of the damage and compensation obligor.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellee asserted that he was hired by the Appellant’s company, which manufactured corrugated steel sheets wrapped with foam paper and assigned the Appellee to operate a forming press for foam paper. Since the Appellant’s company had failed to provide safety education and training and to set up safety equipment, the Appellee suffered from major injuries when he lost all functions of his upper left limb after his left hand was engulfed in a machine during his operation of the machine on July 28, 2010 (hereinafter, the “Accident at Issue”). The Appellee claimed damages from the Appellant in accordance with the provision concerning incomplete performance in Article 227, Paragraph 2 of the Civil Code for its failure to perform the protective obligation to the employee under Article 483-1 of the Civil Code.
According to the Decision, Article 227-1 of the Civil Code provides that if the moral right of the obligee is undermined due to the obligor’s nonperformance of obligation, the obligor shall be liable for damages, and that Article 197 of the Civil Code shall apply mutatis mutandis. To wit, the Appellee may claim damages from the Appellant for the damage concerning impaired work capabilities and for consolation in accordance with Article 227-1 of the Civil Code. The right to assert such claim lapses if not exercised in two years after the claimant becomes aware of the damage and compensation obligor and in ten years after the act of tort. It was held in this Decision that the original decision should be reversed and remanded since it had illegally concluded that the statute of limitation for such claim was 15 years.