Mom puts son through dental school, sues him to get money back
TAIWAN – What price, a mother’s devotion? In this case, about $967,000. A court in Taiwan has ordered a dentist to pay back his mother for putting him through dentistry school, reports the New York Times.
It seems the pair had signed a contract back in 1997 when he was 20 years old laying out an unusual deal: She’d pay for his schooling and he’d pay her 60% of his income upon becoming a dentist up to $1.7 million, per the BBC.
The son maintains that because he worked at his mother’s dental clinic for years, he helped her earn back that amount and more. He also told the court that it was just plain wrong for a mother to make an iron-clad contract demanding reimbursement for doing what parents often do voluntarily.
The contract, he argued, “is a deviation from social morals and against good customs and public order, and therefore should be invalid,” per the Taiwan News. The court disagreed, ruling that a deal is a deal and that he signed it as an adult. The ruling ordered the dentist, identified as Dr. Chu, to fork over an “upbringing fee” of about $750,000, along with interest, for a total of $967,000. Mom had struck the same deal with another son, but he settled up for a lesser amount.
As the BBC notes, children are legally obligated in Taiwan to care for their aging parents, though the issue rarely reaches the courts.