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March 5, 2010

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Woman sues Metro for injury from sudden stop

A DISABLED woman is seeking 290,000 yuan (US$42,460) in compensation from the Metro operation company, complaining that she broke her hipbone when a train suddenly braked.

Huangpu District People's Court didn't reach a verdict after hearing the lawsuit yesterday.

Yan Feng, 60, from Gansu Province, took a Metro Line 1 train at the Jinjiang Park Station about 6pm on August 23 last year. The train wasn't very crowded and she stood, grasping a handrail.

The train suddenly braked on its way to the Shanghai South Railway Station and stopped between the two stations. Yan fell to the ground though she held the handrail because she walks with an artificial limb and it couldn't support her, the court heard.

Yan was later sent to hospital by the Metro staff. She suffered a hipbone fracture and underwent surgery.

Her lawyer said Yan was worthy of sympathy because she lost all her three jobs, one full-time and two part-time, after the accident.

She had hoped to save enough money for her retirement because she never married and lived by herself.

After leaving hospital, she couldn't go back to her rented room with stairs in an old building, and had to live in a cheap inn.

Her niece and cousin flew from distant cities to take care of her.

Her lawsuit asks for money to cover travel costs and loss of working time in addition to her medical bills.

The Metro operation company said it has paid 40,000 yuan for her medical care and would like to compensate based on the court's order.

The defendant denied the train had made a sudden brake, however.

It said it was normal for the driver to change speed. The operator also argued that Yan didn't pay enough attention to her own safety.

In a previous lawsuit concerning passengers safety in the Metro trains, Xuhui District People's Court ordered the operation company last May to compensate 500,000 yuan because a man was squeezed to death between the train and the platform safety door.


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