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July 3, 2010

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French girl sues over fall into pool

A FRENCH girl who slipped and fell into a swimming pool in her residential community in Shanghai, suffering serious neck injuries, is seeking compensation of more than 23 million yuan (US$3.39 million) from the local property management company.

In her indictment, Celine Lion, now 18, said she and three friends were playing near the pool in the villa complex where her family lived on August 2, 2006.

She suddenly slipped into the pool as the ground was slippery with water.

She hit her head on the bottom of the shallow pool and went into coma.

Lion was diagnosed with an injury to a bone in her neck and had to undergo surgery. In the following years she received treatment in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Now she is unable to take care of herself and is assessed as disabled, the indictment said. She is suing Shanghai Zhongqi Property Management Co Ltd, which managed the community, for compensation for medical treatment, rehabilitation and disability.

She is also seeking 2 million yuan compensation for mental anguish.

The community's developer is being sued as having joint liability.

The indictment said there were no property management staff in charge of pool security at the time and no warning notices.

Zhongqi couldn't be reached by Shanghai Daily yesterday.

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court accepted the case and judges said it was the first infringement lawsuit they had accepted since the Law of Liability for Infringement was enacted on July 1.

Judges said the new law was an important part of China's civil laws and will better protect people's rights and interests since it clarifies liability for some violations not referred to in other laws.

For instance, it stipulates that if a person is hurt by things thrown from a building but can't find the person responsible then the whole building is liable to pay compensation.

If a hospital hides, destroys or refuses to provide medical records, the hospital should be presumed to have made mistakes in medical disputes.

And if a website doesn't take immediate action to delete indecent photos after it receives complaints, it should bear responsibility together with the photo publisher, according to the law.


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