Woman Sues Building After Falling Dog Paralyzes Her in Guangzhou

By Ryan Gandolfo, November 28, 2018

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A woman in Guangzhou is suing all the landlords and tenants of an apartment building after being hit by a dog that fell from the structure.

On April 15, Zhang Ping was casually walking in Baiyun District’s Yagang village when a large canine smashed onto her right shoulder from an unknown floor of the building. While the dog managed to walk off after what appeared to be a long fall, Zhang was left paralyzed from her neck down.

Watch below to see the incident captured on surveillance camera (VPN off):

On November 23, Zhang’s lawyer filed a lawsuit with Baiyun District’s People’s Court, demanding that whoever was responsible for the incident should pay her compensation. This is the third time the case has been brought to court, as the lack of evidence from either party has complicated proceedings.

So far, no one has claimed ownership of the dog or any involvement in the bizarre event.

According to Guangzhou Daily, Zhang and her family have resided in a motel in Haizhu District since she was released from Nanfang University of Medicine Pearl River Hospital. Originally from Hubei province, the family moved to Guangzhou shortly after Spring Festival this year to start a new life in Guangdong’s capital. Now the family is in a dire situation, with Zhang’s husband and son taking care of her full-time, without any source of income. Zhang spoke with Guangzhou Daily, saying “we’ve spent RMB300,000 on medical expenses for the early stages, and, later on, there will be recovery costs and we don’t know how much that will cost.”

There is no specific clause in the Tort Liability Law of People’s Republic of China for who is responsible if an animal falling from a building harms another person. There is however, a law that states that someone who throws or drops an object from a building that harms others is liable for damages.

According to clause 87 of the Tort Liability Law of People’s Republic of China:

“In cases where an object is thrown from a building or an object falling from a building causes damage to others but it is difficult to determine the violator, the compensation shall be payed by the person using that part of the building which may have caused the harm, unless the person has evidence to prove he is not the violator.”

Zhang and the defendants have argued over whether the dog actually belonged to someone in the building. Zhang claims they previously found a cage on the rooftop of the building, providing proof that someone was raising an animal there. But the landlords argue that if the dog were to have resided on the rooftop, then after falling onto the ground, it would have gone back to a familiar place (the surveillance footage of the incident shows the dog fleeing the scene away from the building).

Zhang and her family are hopeful they’ll receive compensation and return back to Hubei to begin her recovery soon, but an end to the ordeal does not appear to be on the horizon.

In light of the new court hearing on November 23, the online community has been baffled by the fact that the dog owner is still unknown. “I feel like the dog owner shouldn’t be hard to find, right? We are in an era when all kinds of technology is available,” wrote one user under a video of the story posted by Guangzhou Daily’s Weibo account. Another netizen, clearly perplexed by the court case, wrote, “This is pretty inconvenient, if the dog happens to be a stray, then does the department in charge of stray dogs take the blame…”

[Cover image: screengrab via QQ]

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