Two of the more than 200 Chinese workers stranded in Palau have been taken to hospital after a fight in their camp during which they threw boiling water at each other.
Their lawyer says emotions have been running high as they are stuck after their Taiwanese employers closed their garment factory, leaving them with unpaid wages and no means to return to China.
The management of Orientex Palau disappeared and efforts to recover funds through the courts have failed.
The case is complicated by legal wrangles as the Palau government is now trying to sue a company, Pam Pacific, which is behind the defunct garment manufacturer.
The government says its powers are limited as the dispute is between private parties.
Efforts to resolve the situation with China and Taiwan have yet to yield results.