Girl who used fake identity for plastic surgery has refund claims rejected

Ke Jiayun
A17-year-old girl argued that contracts she signed with a local hospital were invalid because of her age. A local court, however, has denied her claims.
Ke Jiayun

A girl who used an adult's identity card to receive cosmetic surgery had her request for a refund on the procedures denied, the Xuhui District People's Court announced on Wednesday. The girl claimed that she was underage and thus contracts for the surgeries should have been invalid, the court explained.

According to the court, the 17-year-old girl received plastic surgery at a local hospital twice between late 2018 and early 2019 on her face and other parts of her body. She used the identity card of an adult named Liu to get the surgery and paid the hospital more than 360,000 yuan (US$50,283) in medical fees.

However, several months later, she brought the hospital to court, where she demanded her money back based on claims that contracts for the surgery were invalid due to her status as a minor.

During the hearing, the girl claimed she was instigated by hospital workers to receive the plastic surgery. The hospital staff came up with the idea of using a fake identity and the information of Liu was provided by the hospital, the girl said. She also denied that signatures on two medical documents were written by her.

The hospital claimed that it didn't know that the girl was a minor and using a fake identity. The hospital further stated that it learned the girl had become a successful model in 2017, and her career should be interpreted as a sign of her capacity for civil liability. Moreover, the contract it signed with the girl carried no restriction on her age.

Handwriting authentication showed that the signatures on the hospital's records and informed consent form were all written by the girl.

The court said generally, a contract signed between those with limited capacity for civil conduct and the other party will be valid after being confirmed by a guardian. But for contracts signed for profit or those meeting the standards of the minor's age, intelligence and mental condition, their validity can be established without a guardian's approval.

In this case, the court established that the contract signed by the girl should have been understandable to someone with her age, intelligence and mental faculties.

Also, as the girl had previously had plastic surgery in Beijing, she should understand the nature of such operations, the court found. And her bank account, opened in January 2019, regularly received large deposits and exceeded a balance of 600,000 yuan, which indicates that she can handle large amounts of money and be responsible for high-value contracts. In the end, the court ruled the contracts to be valid and reject the girl's demands.

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