A woman who suffered burns to 63 per cent of her body when a pot of boiling congee tipped over her was yesterday awarded $1.9 million compensation. Fung Wai-han sued her former employers, Hui Chik-keung and Pearl Full Limited, over an accident on May 22, 1999 while she was opening up a cooked food stall in the Tin Shui Market. It was the first time Ms Fung had opened the shop. While she was fiddling with the roller door, another worker delivered a cart carrying a large pot of boiling congee and left it a short space behind her. As the door was ascending, Ms Fung saw dust falling from it and stepped back, tripping over the cart and tipping the congee over her neck, back, arms and thighs. She suffered second-degree scalding to 40 per cent of her body, and deep burns to 63 per cent. She spent about two months in hospital after the accident, undergoing skin graft surgery five times. Even once discharged, it was almost impossible for her to perform even the most basic tasks without assistance. It took more than 31/2 years for her scars to mature. She lost 11 per cent of the movement in her elbows and upper legs, and suffered permanent visible scarring to 30 per cent of her body. Her husband left her as a result of her injuries and her son has become estranged from her. Only her daughter has remained loyal to her throughout her ordeal. The court heard evidence that even with intensive plastic surgery, steroid injections and laser therapy, much of the scarring would be impossible to remove. Her former employers admitted that it was negligent for the other employee to leave the cart so perilously close to where Ms Fung was working. Mr Justice Azizul Suffiad in the Court of First Instance dismissed the proprietor's suggestion that Ms Fung was partly to blame for the incident because she had failed to pay attention to the cart's location.