01/03/2018, 14.50
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Taiwan's top court orders son to repay mother who raised him

The plaintiff had signed an agreement with each of her two sons whereby they would pay her 60 per cent of the net profit from their incomes. When they got into relationships, they refused to honour the contract. The elder son eventually settled for US$ 170,000. Elderly abuse and abandonment are a growing problem in Taiwan.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Supreme Court of Taiwan has ordered a dentist to pay his mother around TW.33 million (US4,000) as reimbursement for the money she spent raising and educating him.

The country’s top court upheld a previous ruling that the 41-year-old, identified by his family name Chu, should honour a contract he signed with his mother 20 years ago promising to refund her.

The plaintiff, surnamed Lo, divorced her husband in 1990 and raised their two sons on her own.

Worried that nobody would look after her when she got old, she signed contracts with her sons after they both turned 20, stipulating that they must pay her 60 per cent of the net profit from their incomes.

According to local reports, Lo accused her sons of ignoring her after they both started relationships, saying their girlfriends even sent her letters through their lawyers demanding her not to "bother" her sons.

She filed the lawsuit eight years ago when they refused to honour the contracts. The older son eventually paid her TW million (US$ 170,000) to settle the case.

Her younger son claimed that the contract violated "good customs" as raising a child should not be measured in financial terms, and went to court against his mother.

Lo appealed all the way to the country’s highest court after lower courts ruled in favour of her son.

The Supreme Court said the contract was valid as Chu was an adult when he signed it, and that as a dentist he was capable of repaying his mother.

Cases of abuse and abandonment of senior citizens have been on the rise in Taiwan in recent years, prompting calls for a law to jail adults who fail to look after their elderly parents.

No legislation has yet been adopted in the matter.

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