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June 24, 2017

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Land owner of Wenlin Yuan sued by contractor

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Wang Kuang-shu (王廣樹), landowner of one-third of the rights to what was land occupied by the Wang family, attended a protest outside of the Internal Administration Committee (內政委員會) meeting of the Legislative Yuan (立法院) yesterday, following the filing of a lawsuit against him earlier in the morning.

Even after majority landowner Wang Yao-teh's (王耀德) voluntary dismantlement of the Wang family prefabricated houses set up on the piece of land that the Wenlin Yuan urban renewal drama is centered around, conflict between the Wang family and the project's construction consortium Leyoung Construction Corp. (樂揚建設) is far from over.

Following an open accusation and calling his son, Wang Yao-teh, "an inexperienced youth," Wang Kuang-shu, after a prolonged battle with both the Taipei City Government and Leyoung Construction Corp, was quoted on Sunday as saying that he has no chance of opposing the city government and the consortium, and will no longer retaliate against the inevitable.

However, Keating Hsu (許獻進), lawyer for the construction company, filed an official lawsuit on behalf of the company against Wang Kuang-shu at the Shilin District Court (士林地方法院) yesterday, demanding NT$53 million.

Lawsuit Targets Wang Kuang-shu 'solely'

When asked if either a motion to withdraw the lawsuit or an out-of-court settlement is possible, Hsu answered that as majority landowner, Wang Yao-teh had dismantled the occupying prefabs, so the suit is targeted solely toward minority owner Wang Kuang-shu.

Hsu went on to explain that according to calculations, in the two years of the Wang family's illegal occupation of the Wenlin Yuan property, the company suffered an estimated NT$53 million in revenue losses and damages. The prolonged hold up has forced the consortium to compensate contracted buyers NT$ 20million in liquidated damages, along with NT$14 million in loan interest and NT$20 million in rent payments for families who consented to the urban renewal leasing for the past two years.

After being informed of the lawsuit, Wang Kuang-shu appeared emotionally agitated, telling press that Leyoung is oppressing the Wang family. Wang said that the entire clan has been divided during the extended opposition of the company and the city government, adding that every member of his family involved in the struggle has been under immense stress, with his son finally breaking under the pressure when the consortium threatened the family a NT$ 200 million lawsuit.

During his attendance at the protest, Wang Kuang-shu, continued to say that he will not give up legal proceedings amid support from the Taiwan Alliance for Victims of Urban Renewal (TAVUR, 台灣都市更新受害者聯盟). The protest demanded the committee abolish article 34 and 36 of the Urban Renewal Act (都市更新條例), both of which, according to TAVUR, give more than acceptable powers to both construction consortiums and the government.

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