A family have prompted outrage in China after they sued a train passenger who inadvertently tripped up their elderly mother with her suitcase, resulting in her death two weeks later.
The Wang family are seeking compensation from the 63-year-old female passenger, with the surname Liu, after their 67-year-old mum fell over the suitcase at Beijing West Railway Station on March 8 last year.
CCTV of the incident shows the mother turning around at the ticket gates after her son was not permitted to enter the area without a ticket, the South China Morning Post reported.
As they vacate the area with her son walking quickly ahead, Ms Wang falls over the suitcase being wheeled by Ms Liu and onto the ground, despite Ms Liu’s efforts to clear a path for the mother.
She later boarded her train but her condition deteriorated and when she arrived in Shijiazhuang, 300km southwest of Beijing, she was rushed to hospital by her niece.
Ms Wang suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died 15 days later, the South China Morning Post reported.
Her family blame Ms Liu for the death and are seeking roughly 620,000 yuan (AU$128,000) for the medical expenses of Ms Wang and their mental anguish caused by the incident and subsequent death, the Beijing Daily reported.
Ms Liu’s defence argued Ms Wang was preoccupied with following her son who had walked ahead and her son should have sought medical attention for his mother following the fall.
The court agreed, dismissing the Wang family’s case saying Ms Liu did nothing “out of the ordinary”.
“Wang should have taken precautions and observed her surroundings more carefully. If she had done so, the collision could have been avoided,” the court said.
The Wang family has since lodged an appeal with the higher courts.
The video has since been viewed tens of millions of times on Chinese social media site Weibo, prompting a wave of anger from users over the family pursuing legal action.
“Ms Liu did nothing wrong!” one person declared.
One user labelled the Wang family “shameless”.
“Should sue the ground for not being soft,” one person said sarcastically.
Not all users defended Ms Liu, with one claiming suitcases on wheels take up too much space during busy periods in stations and they easily trip people.
Death and injury compensation claims have become commonplace in China, where those who have been found liable are often forced to pay large sums of compensation to victims, sometimes for long periods of time.
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