Par­ents sue all high rise ten­ants

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By TAN YINGZI in Chongqing tany­ingzi @chi­nadaily.com.cn

Un­able to find out who threw a yo­gurt bot­tle out of a win­dow, the par­ents of a 2-year-old girl who was hurt by it sued 448 sus­pected home­own­ers.

The Chongqing Yuzhong Dis­trict Peo­ple’s Court ruled this week that all of them must split the com­pen­sa­tion and each pay 360 yuan ($51).

The com­pen­sa­tion to be paid by each of the 448 home­own­ers sus­pected of be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the girl’s in­juries

All the home­own­ers who at­tended the court hear­ing ac­cepted the rul­ing.

On the evening of Sept 16, 2014, the girl was play­ing in a neigh­bor­hood in Yuzhong dis­trict, down­town Chongqing. A yo­gurt bot­tle was thrown out of a win­dow of a nearby build­ing and hit the girl’s head.

The girl was knocked un­con­scious and was taken to hos­pi­tal. The fam­ily spent more than 80,000 yuan on med­i­cal treat­ment for the girl’s skull frac­tures and re­lated in­juries.

As the par­ents could not find who was re­spon­si­ble, they had to sue all 448 res­i­dents from the sec­ond to 33rd floors and asked for a to­tal of 300,000 yuan in com­pen­sa­tion.

In re­cent years, news about ob­jects fall­ing from tall build­ings and hit­ting passers-by has drawn pub­lic at­ten­tion. But most vic­tims with mi­nor in­juries just let it go since it is so dif­fi­cult to iden­tify the per­son who threw the ob­ject.

How­ever, un­der Chi­nese civil law, vic­tims in this kind of case can be com­pen­sated by all users of a build­ing if no­body is found to be re­spon­si­ble.

“This is a typ­i­cal case,” said Ding Han­qing, a lawyer from Chongqing Long Heng Law Firm. “If the home­owner of that build­ing can pro­vide an al­ibi, he or she can be ex­empt.”

But some le­gal ex­perts said that it does not pro­vide ad­e­quate de­ter­rence, and the pre­con­di­tions to ap­ply­ing the rule are not clear.

TANG YANJUN / CHINA NEWS SER­VICE

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