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Court hears appeal in case of injured child

(Global Times)

09:53, November 16, 2012

The families of two boys who accidently burned a playmate appealed a district court's decision Thursday that ordered them to pay a total of 161,000 yuan ($25,862) in compensation to the family of the victim.

The victim's family had sued the parents of the two boys in Minhang District People's Court after an accident involving a can of flammable chemicals left the victim with burns over 28 percent of his body.

In October 2010, the victim, surnamed Wang, then 10, was playing outside with three other children in a residential compound in Minhang district.

Two of the boys, Yang, 12, and Kuai, 11, had carried a can of paint solvent next to a fire that was burning in the compound. All four boys began throwing rocks at the can until it exploded, injuring Wang.

In the district court's ruling, the judge ordered Yang's family to pay 91,167 yuan in compensation because the boy had put the can next to the fire.

Yang's father, Yang Changsheng, argued in Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court Thursday that his son should not be held responsible for Wang's injury because as a minor, he could not fully understand the consequences of his actions.

The attorney of Kuai's family said in court that all four of the boys had been throwing stones at the can, so it was unfair to single out Kuai because the stone he threw ended up causing the can to explode.

The court usually decides how much compensation each defendant should to pay based on each one's liability, said Gao Ming, a lawyer from Shanghai Wanfang Law Firm.

In this case, all of the boys' guardians were liable for the injury because they were not properly supervising their children.

Yang's father also blamed the property management company for allowing a fire to burn in the compound.

It is rare for a court to reverse a lower court's decision by bringing another party into a case. "The more common practice would be for Yang's family to file a lawsuit against the property management company," Gao told the Global Times.

The intermediate court did not reach a decision Thursday after hearing arguments and asked the parties to first try to negotiate a settlement.

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