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June 9, 2010

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Family sues over death of drunk man

A FAMILY is seeking 350,000 yuan (US$51,240) in compensation after a man died in a drinking competition.

Zhang Xianyun, who lived in a rented room in Qingpu District with his wife and two sons, had been invited to have dinner with his landlord, Su Heyuan, and a friend, Yuan Guilong, on March 9, Qingpu District People's Court heard yesterday.

Zhang and Yuan began boasting about their drinking ability and decided to see who could drink the most.

When Zhang could drink no more, Su and his wife helped him back to his room and put him on his bed.

"He looked normal and went into a sleep. So we went upstairs, leaving him alone," Su told the court.

Zhang's wife found him lying motionless with traces of vomit around his mouth. He didn't respond when she called him so she called an ambulance.

Zhang was diagnosed as having suffocated on his own vomit.

The family said the Su and Yuan should have stopped Zhang from drinking when he got drunk and they said they were at fault for leaving him lying on his back.

That position meant when he vomited it stuck in his throat and led to the suffocation.

Su denied Zhang was drunk and both men said they had no obligation to persuade Zhang to stop drinking or take care of him. Zhang was an adult who should have known about the dangers of drinking too much and should have controlled himself.

The court didn't announce a verdict yesterday.


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