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Yiwu: Hosts ruled responsible for Guest died of overdrinking

Yiwu News
Host fined as guest drinks to death in E. China
Updated: 2006-09-01 18:22
HANGZHOU -- Hospitality is a wonderful Chinese tradition but it can prove fatal.

A court in east China's Zhejiang Province on Thursday ordered a hospitable host to pay compensation after he persuaded a guest to drink too much. The 20-year-old guest collapsed and died at his friend's house after swigging down too much brandy and Chinese liquor.


In a trial verdict pronounced Thursday, the court in Yiwu City of Zhejiang held eight drinking companions responsible for making Luo Xiaoming drink too much alcohol at a family banquet.

The court's autopsy report showed that Luo, who was a company security guard, died of alcohol poisoning. Completely drunk, he vomited and then suffocated.

Luo's parents sued his friend for 200,000 yuan (US$25,000) but the court considered the amount excessive, saying that adults must use common sense on festive occasions. The companions were ordered to pay 35,192 yuan (US$4,399) in compensation.

The court case has stirred up controversy about who was really responsible.

Luo was a guest at a friend's house during China's Spring Festival. Family reunions and gatherings of friends are an intrinsic feature of Spring Festival, and persuading guests to drink is a common form of Chinese dinner-table hospitality.