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Court hears car smash claims

A RESIDENT is seeking more than 100,000 yuan (US$14,624) to cover damage his car sustained when a drunken security guard at his residential community took it out while he was on duty and crashed it.

The Zhabei District People's Court heard the case yesterday without giving a verdict.

The resident, Ma Zhiwei, also asked Beicheng Property Management Co Ltd, which manages the community, to bear joint responsibility, saying it didn't do enough to supervise the security guard.

Ma bought a car in 2007 and got a temporary parking permit in his residential community in Zhabei District. Because there wasn't a fixed parking lot for residents with the temporary permit, Ma was asked by the security guards to hand in his car keys so they could park the car for him when a space came free, according to the plaintiff.

On May 31, 2008, Ma drove back to the community and gave the key to the security guards as usual. At around 2am the next day, a security guard called Xu Xinfa, who was on duty, drove Ma's car out of the residential community after he'd been drinking. Xu hit another car and traffic police, who arrived and gave Xu a breath test, said he should bear full responsibility, the court heard.

In addition to paying 55,000 yuan for repairs, Xu should also pay 50,000 yuan to cover the devaluation of the car, Ma said. Xu admitted he had driven the car when he was on duty. But he didn't agree with the amount of compensation.

He said he had asked a company to check the car and the company decided it only needed 35,000 yuan worth of repairs.

"Ma has had more work done to his car than it needed from the accident," Xu said. "I should have the right to know the details even if I should compensate."

Beicheng refused to take any responsibility. It said it has never allowed property owners to give car keys to security guards. The management company said the accident was Xu's fault alone.


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