Court orders insurer to pay for man scared to death

April 22nd, 2009 - 11:39 am ICT by IANS  

Taipei, April 22 (DPA) The Taiwan High Court has ordered an insurance company to pay out an accidental-death policy on a man whose family claimed he was scared to death by a burglar, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The Apple Daily said that the Taiwan High Court ruled Tuesday in the first case of its kind that the Cathay Life Insurance Co Ltd must pay 1 million Taiwan dollars ($290,000) to the family of Pan Hsu-ming, who died apparently of fright three years ago.

According to the paper, Pan, 24, suffered from moderate mental retardation. He went out one day with his parents, and the family returned to find that a burglar had broken into their home and locked the door from inside.

Pan’s father forced the door open, and the three of them chased the burglar upstairs. Pan collapsed on the stairs, apparently from fright.

Despite pursuing the burglar inside their house, the suspect escaped, the paper said.

Pan’s parents had taken out a life-insurance policy on Pan, and they asked Cathay Life Insurance to cover their son’s accidental death.

Cathay Life refused to pay, saying that Pan had died from a heart attack caused by irregular heartbeat, which is an illness.

The parents sued Cathay Life, providing hospital records showing that Pan did not suffer from irregular heartbeat, confirmed by an autopsy.

The Taiwan High Court accepted the hospital evidence and ruled Tuesday that Cathay Life Insurance must pay out the insurance policy, which covered accidents.

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