Taipei, A local court recently ruled that McDonald's Taiwan should pay more than NT$200,000 (US$6,418) in damages to a visually impaired man who was hurt by the automatic doors at one of the eatery's branches four years ago, the court announced on Friday.
The victim, whose surname is Wang, was pinched by closing automatic doors at McDonald's Shih-Pai branch in May 2015 when he was about to leave. He felt the door was open when he used his cane to test the doors, but they closed when he was passing through them, according to Shilin District Court.
Wang demanded NT$3.21 million from McDonald's for his medical expenses, lost income, and psychological damage.
However, McDonald's argued that although the automatic doors were equipped with infrared sensors on the outside, anyone who wanted to leave the store from the inside should press the open button.
Wang's wife exited the store ahead of him, then the doors closed automatically, thus pinching the victim, McDonald's said, claiming the actual cause of the incident was the failure of the wife to provide assistance.
McDonald's argued that Wang had only used the toilet of the store and did not purchase anything, therefore he was not entitled to sue the store using the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.
But the judge said in a written verdict that commercial establishments should by all means ensure the safety of visitors, whether they are customers or not. Therefore, the said law is still applicable to the case, according to the judge.
The accident would have been prevented if McDonald's Shih-Pai branch had installed sensors inside the store or above the doors, the verdict further stated, adding that the store manager should have foreseen the accident because the automatic doors cannot detect all entering and exiting consumers.
The court said the incident left Wang with post-traumatic stress disorders and that McDonald's should pay him a total of NT$208,403 in compensation.
McDonald's is allowed to appeal the case.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel