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May 16, 2012

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Swimmer treading water in park lawsuit

MO Baocai, a 60-year-old swimmer who claimed he was beaten up in a downtown park, withdrew his lawsuit yesterday after being told he was suing the wrong defendant.

Mo made his decision after he was told by a judge at the Hongkou District People's Court that he should directly take Luxun Park rather than Shanghai Changyuan Group, the park's administrator, to court. Mo said he was one of the victims who were swimming in a river in Luxun Park last September when two electric boats rushed to them and staffers on the boats hit them with iron rods and chains. Mo said the staff even ran after the swimmers and battered them after they climbed onto the bank.

"I was hospitalized for nine days for my injuries in the left eye and kidney," Mo said in his court petition. He is seeking more than 10,000 yuan (US$15,825) compensation from the park.

Although the hearing did not begin, defense attorney Zhou Zhigang told Shanghai Daily he was confident his side will win.

"Mo is a liar and, in my opinion, he was not among the victims in the conflict," Zhou said. "The evidence and testimony provided by Mo don't match in time. Mo's previous hospital record also revealed that he was already injured the day before the violence happened."

According to the Hongkou District police, four men in their 50s and 60s who suffered bruises reached a compensation agreement with a fishing firm that became the administrator of the river after the park leased the river to it.

Mo, who said he'd refile the suit, said he got no compensation because he was hospitalized and failed to go to the police station with the other victims.


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