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October 19, 2010

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Bar must pay man left brain-damaged in attack

A KARAOKE bar has been ordered to pay 216,000 yuan (US$32,481) compensation to a man left severely brain-damaged after being attacked by a stranger there, Chongming County People's Court said yesterday.

The court ruled that the bar, which was not named, did not stop the random attack in time and should bear responsibility for failures in customer security.

The plaintiff, surnamed Zhu, went with friends to a karaoke bar in Chongming after a meal on February 6.

While they were singing, several strangers arrived and Zhang Hui, a migrant worker from Anhui Province, without provocation hit a friend of Zhu on the head with a glass.

Zhu tried to stop Zhang but was also beaten. He was then dragged out of the bar where the assault continued. Zhang beat Zhu to the ground and hit his head with a bicycle.

Police caught Zhang as he tried to run away. He told officers that he picked Zhu at random to vent his anger after a dispute with other people. Zhang was sentenced to 10 years in prison for assault.

Zhu suffered a serious brain injury and was left in a vegetative state. Medical costs have run to 740,000 yuan. His family took the karaoke bar to the court, seeking compensation of 1.23 million yuan.

They argued that the bar didn't protect its customer.

The bar said its staff had tried to stop the dispute and that Zhu was injured away from its premises.

The court found that as there were no security guards, the bar was unable to stop the attack, thus failing to protect its customer. And though Zhu was injured outside of the bar, the dispute started there, the court said.


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