Simon Says: Who should be liable for an unidentified falling object?

Published
10/21/2017 by

This is the thirty-fourth in a weekly series of legal advice provided in a short and entertaining story format.

 

每周轻松有趣法律常識故事系列 - 第34篇

 

 

Keywords: Unidentified infringer, Tort, Strict Liability 

 

关键词:不明侵权人,侵权责任,严格责任

 

 

Who should be liable for an unidentified falling object?

 

西门说法:谁该对不明高空抛物负责?

 

One fine evening, Jack was walking his Samoyed in the streets of Beijing. He heard a noise above and stopped to look up. It seemed to be a couple having a fight. Suddenly, down came a beer bottle and Jack got hit in the head.

 

华灯初上,夜色撩人,克强溜着他的萨摩耶狗漫步在北京的街头。这时,他听到楼上有一阵吵闹声,于是止步观望:似乎是一对夫妇在打架。突然,一只啤酒瓶扔了出来,正好击中了杰克的头部。

 

The poor man fainted due to the trauma, and was found half an hour later lying on the road. He was then rushed to the hospital and there he lay, in a coma, for six months.

 

可怜的克强因此晕倒在了路边,半小时后才被人发现。虽然随后他被立即送往医院,但他却昏迷了六个月才苏醒过来。

 

Poor Jack had no recollection of what happened, and his wife explained to him that he had been hit by a beer bottle. He was furious as he suddenly had a million dollar bill to deal with, and found that he had already been fired from his company.

 

可是克强根本回忆不起来发生了什么,他的妻子向他解释说他被啤酒瓶击中了头部。随之而来的还有高达一百万是医药账单要偿还,同时他发现自己已被公司解雇了,克强真的是悲愤交加。

 

With no job and no money, Jack decided to seek help from the police, to find out who threw the bottle and demand a compensation. However, there was no CCTV in that alley, and the police were unable to determine who actually threw the bottle. They could only deduce that it would be the people living in the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th floor as they had windows facing the alley, and things thrown out from the 1st and 2nd floor did not have enough height to give Jack a skull fracture.

 

此时此刻的克强,一没工作二没钱,因此他决定寻求警方的帮助,找出扔啤酒瓶的真凶索要赔偿。但是那条胡同里没有闭路电视,所以警方无法确定谁扔的啤酒瓶。只能推断出肇事者住在三四五六楼,因为这些住户的房间窗户面向马路,而且一楼二楼高度明显不够,从这上面扔啤酒瓶是无法造成克强颅骨骨折的。

 

As Jack remembered, it was a couple quarreling, so the single guys on the 5th floor were out of the question. This still left three owners in suspect. What could Jack do?

 

根据克强的复述,是一对吵架的夫妻,因此五楼的单身人士可以排除在外。但三四六楼的住户仍有嫌疑。那么,克强能做些什么?

 Simon Says - Episode 34: Who should be liable for an unidentified falling object?

 

Prof Simon Says:

西门教授说法:

 

Jack's loss should be compensated by those occupiers or owners on the 3rd Floor, 4th Floor and 6th Floor jointly while those on 5th Floor are not liable for compensation as they are not a couple. This a classic case where the damage is caused by an object thrown or falling from a building but the infringer could not be identified. Under China’s Tort Liability Law, unless the infringer is identified, all owners or occupiers shall be responsible for the victims and should compensate the victims jointly save and except for those can prove the contrary. In this case, unless such three parties could prove that they were not at home at that time, all three parties have to compensate for Jack’s medical fees.

 

克强的损失应由三楼,四楼和六楼的住户或业主共同赔偿,住五楼的人不用负责,因为他们都是单身。这种案件很司空见惯,即从房屋里扔出或掉落的物品所造成的意外伤害,同时侵权人身份不明。根据《中华人民共和国侵权责任法》规定:除非侵权人身份明确,否则所有业主或住户应对受害者共同负责并予以赔偿,除非他们可以自证清白。该案件中,除非这三方当事人有不在场证明,否则都应赔偿克强的医疗费用。

 

Tort Liability Law of the People's Republic of China

 

Article 87 Where any damage is caused by an object thrown or falling from a building and where it is difficult to identify the infringer, all users of the building shall pay compensation the victim unless he can prove that he was not the infringer.

 

《中华人民共和国侵权责任法》

 

第八十七条 从建筑物中抛掷物品或者从建筑物上坠落的物品造成他人损害,难以确定具体侵权人的,除能够证明自己不是侵权人的外,由可能加害的建筑物使用人给予补偿。

 

 

For more about this or to contact Professor Simon Choi at www.acmeardent.comsimonhkchoi@163.com, +86 13823677853 or by WeChat: simonhkchoi. 

 

ACME Ardent's Simon Choi WeChat QR Code

 

 

Simon Choi

About the Author: Professor Simon Choi

Prof Simon Choi, solicitor and linguist, is an international lawyer, qualified to practise law in England & Wales and in Hong Kong, China. Simon graduated from law schools of the Peking University, the University of London and the University of Hong Kong respectively, with an in-depth knowledge of Chinese laws and common laws and with more than 20 years experience in China practice and international trade, investment, finance, merger & acquisition. He is an adjunct professor of laws at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. Simon is the founding partner of Acme Ardent and can be reached at simonhkchoi@163.com or +86 13823677853.

 

FEATURED EVENTS & PROMOS See All

Free Trial Class @ HW Fitness!!

HW FITNESS Is a brand new gymnasium and martial arts space located next to Shekou Seaworld (Haishangshijie Exit C)!


Tickets on Sale Now for That's Shenzhen's 2017 Food & Drink Awards!
Tickets on Sale Now for That's Shenzhen's 2017 Food & Drink Awards!

That's Shenzhen Food and Drink Awards takes place at Hard Rock Hotel Shenzhen on November 21! The event includes free-flow bee...

Helping Others Has Never Felt so Good. Join Now to Give & Receive!
Helping Others Has Never Felt so Good. Join Now to Give & Receive!

Remember the Giving Season is here! Sign up to the Shekou Angels membership program from now until December 31st and we'll don...