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Parents sue all high rise tenants

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-16 07:45

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).

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.

Parents sue all high rise tenants

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.

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