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December 27, 2010

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Family of drunk man who drowned seeks cash

THE family of a man found drowned in a suburban creek after getting drunk at a dinner is seeking more than 650,000 yuan (US$97,892) compensation from four parties it holds responsible for his death.

The wife of the dead man surnamed Shi who was in his 50s said he was a "model worker" who never drank at home. Shi went for a meal with colleagues the night he died, and must have drunk alcohol for work reasons, claimed his wife.

She holds the organizer of the meal, the restaurant, a taxi company and Waigang Town government responsible.

They all deny this.

The Jiading District People's Court heard the case recently without passing a verdict. Judges said they need to confirm key facts first.

On March 5, Shi attended a work dinner organized by a man surnamed Zheng who wanted to discuss labor regulations and policies.

Afterwards, Shi was drunk but insisted on riding his motorcycle home. Other diners, including Zheng, left.

Shi fell off his motorcycle injuring his head. Restaurant staff put him in a taxi with instructions to be dropped off at an intersection in Waigang Town, near where he lived.

But after getting out of the taxi, Shi never made it home. His body was found in a nearby creek on March 10.

The alcohol content in Shi's blood exceeded 300 milligrams per 100 milliliters, according to his autopsy - almost four times the limit.

Shi's family says Zheng should have told them Shi was drunk; restaurant staff should have called an ambulance; the taxi company's driver should not have let Shi off on a remote road; and the township should have erected a warning sign about the creek.

The four defendants argue that they didn't violate any rights of Shi and had no obligation to escort him back home.


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