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July 2, 2010

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Family accepts compensation

A FAMILY has accepted 40,000 yuan (US$5,890) in compassionate compensation from a hospital and taxi company after mediation from Jiading District People's Court.

On December 19, 2008, Wu Jun, a government employee in Yunnan Province who was in Shanghai to visit a friend, walked onto the A5 Expressway and was hit by a taxi. The cabbie took Wu to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with minor injuries. But doctors said he needed to stay for further observation to ensure there was no trauma to his brain.

Wu left the hospital on December 21 before he was discharged by doctors. He was found dead after drowning in a pond two days later. Police said there was no indication of foul play.

Traffic police had ruled that Wu was responsible for getting hit by the taxi as pedestrians are banned from walking on expressways.

Wu's family asked for tens of thousands of yuan in compensation from both the taxi company and the hospital.

The plaintiffs told the court that Wu had been in good health, but that he became mentally disoriented after getting hit by the taxi. They also partly blamed the hospital for his death because they failed to properly supervise him.

The taxi company argued that it was not responsible for his death, countering that perhaps Wu had a mental problem before the accident since it is common sense that pedestrians can't walk on expressways.

The hospital argued it has no obligation to supervise its patients and that it made no mistakes while treating Wu.

Because Wu's body had been cremated, the plaintiffs could produce no evidence that his death was related to the accident.

Judges explained the law to the plaintiffs, but at the same time persuaded the defendants to pay some compassionate compensation.


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