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April 1, 2011

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Mom seeks redress after daughter falls in tunnel

A WOMAN whose four-year-old daughter sustained a serious brain injury after falling into the Fuxing Road E. Tunnel is seeking 300,000 yuan (US$45,844) in compensation to cover the girl's medical expenses, the Huangpu District People's Court heard yesterday.

After falling about 5 meters, the girl, surnamed Zhang, was dragged nearly 1 kilometer by a passing car.

The girl's mother is seeking compensation from both Shanghai Urban Maintenance Management Co Ltd, which is responsible for maintaining the tunnel, and Gu Ping, who was driving the car that dragged Zhang.

Part of the girl's skull is missing and only a thin scalp covers that part of her head, her lawyer said, showing a picture of the girl to the court, which did not give a verdict.

On December 4, 2009, Zhang was playing alone at the Pudong entrance of the Fuxing Road E. Tunnel while her mother was working. She climbed up a decorative piece at the tunnel's entrance and fell through a hole at the top.

Gu Ping drove over the girl, who got stuck under the vehicle's chassis and was dragged for nearly 1 kilometer. Gu didn't stop until a taxi driver stopped him, the court was told.

Zhang sustained a broken skull and large contusions on the head. She has since had surgery three times and requires further treatment. But her mother, who earns less than 1,000 yuan a month, can't afford treatment, the court heard.

The plaintiff argued the company should take major responsibility because it didn't install protective guards for the holes.

The driver should also pay compensation for negligent driving, the plaintiff said.

Both defendants argued the accident occurred because Zhang's mother failed to supervise her properly.

The company denied any mistake, saying its facilities meet all requirements.

Gu argued the girl's skull fracture was caused from the fall, not by getting dragged under his car.


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