Court: Commercial disputes top railway-related cases

Zhu Yuting
Commercial cases took up a big chunk of all railway-related civil and commercial cases filed by the Shanghai Railway Transportation Court between January 2017 and December 2020.
Zhu Yuting

Commercial cases took up a major percentage of all railway-related civil and commercial cases filed by the Shanghai Railway Transportation Court between January 2017 and December 2020, according to a press release on Thursday.

There were 195 commercial cases among the 263 civil and commercial cases, accounting for 74.14 percent, with civil cases taking up just 25.86 percent.

The number of railway-related civil and commercial cases the court heard saw a sharp increase in 2019 and 2020 from 2017 and 2018 – 94 and 81 compared to 41 and 47, respectively.

Also, the court received 255 railway-related criminal cases from January 2017 to December 2020, with more than 90 percent of them pick-pocket crimes.

Contract disputes were the main cause of commercial cases. Among them, contract cases relating to purchase of railway equipment and facilities accounted for the highest proportion, taking up 63.87 percent of all railway cases. Most of the defendants were state-owned companies, the court revealed.

Most civil cases involved disputes over liability for physical injury, rights of life and health as well as duty of public administrators. Of these, cases caused by passenger casualties and traffic accidents were the most.

Contract disputes were mainly triggered by unreasonable and indistinct terms, delayed payments and a company's bad management, the court said.

In one of the cases, a woman, surnamed Lin put a cup of hot water without a lid in front of the tray table of the accuser, surnamed Zhu. Another person, surnamed Zhao, failed to remind Zhu when adjusting the back of the chair which led to Zhu suffering burn injuries.

After a hearing, the court judge believed that both Lin and Zhao had not fulfilled their safety obligations so they should bear the main responsibility. Zhu's parents, who did not take good care of Zhu, bore secondary responsibility.

The railway bureau involved in the case bore the least responsibility for not reminding the passenger about the risk in time.

The judge said the positive significance of this case is that the decision helps to further regulate the behavior of various subjects in public places. 


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