Man ordered to pay over drunk lover's death

Ke Jiayun
A court has ordered a man to pay more than 141,000 yuan (US$20,800) for failing to seek help to prevent his lover's death.
Ke Jiayun

A man was ordered to pay his lover's family more than 141,000 yuan (US$20,807) for leaving her alone after the woman drank too much and died suddenly, the Pudong New Area People's Court said on Tuesday.

The man, surnamed Xie, had late-night snacks with his girlfriend Liu and two colleagues around 10:30pm on March 23 last year at a restaurant in Huinan Town in the Pudong New Area.

His lover, Yao, came to the restaurant at 11:15pm and joined them without an invitation. Since the four had almost finished their meal, they left Yao alone there drinking spirits.

Xie and Liu then checked  into a room at a nearby hotel. At 1am, Xie phoned Yao, who didn't answer.

Later the restaurant owner, Zheng, answered a call, telling him Yao was drunk and asking him to pick her up. After sending Liu home,  Xie went to the restaurant again and took Yao to the hotel room.

Yao was asleep when Xie left for work at 9am. But after he came back two hours later, he found Yao in a coma and called police as well as an ambulance. The police officers and medics soon arrived but Yao was dead.

In July, Yao's family sued Xie, Liu, Zheng and the two colleagues for more than 480,000 yuan.

They said it was the four's drinking together with Yao that put her at risk and that Xie was at fault for not calling her family or seeking medical help.

The family sued Zheng for failing to take appropriate measures when Yao over-drank at his restaurant or take her to hospital.

Xie said Yao was to blame for coming uninvited and had not been offered a drink, but that he had taken care of her after she was drunk.

The other four also said Yao's death had nothing to do with them and said they tried to dissuade Yao from drinking too much.

The court ruled that as Xie had a relationship with Yao, he had a duty of care.

It found he didn't fully do his duty to inform the family and take care of her. It cleared Zheng because he answered Xie's call and helped him take Yao to the hotel.

Xie was ordered to compensate 20 percent of the family's total loss caused by Yao's death and a 7,000-yuan counsel fee, which added up to over 141,000 yuan.

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