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Two interesting related news items in the Shanghai Daily today, about responsibility for an accident. The first one was against a travel agent: a tourist had drowned while swimming in the sea in Thailand. The family of the deceased decided to file a lawsuit, because the travel agent should have warned the tourist that it is dangerous to swim in the sea. In my opinion totally ridiculous, but the court did not see it that way and awarded the family damages.

The second news item was about the family of an old man, who had died in a bath house in Shanghai. According to the family he slipped and fell down, but the bath house said that he fainted and then fell. I think both are not enough reason to sue the bath house, because everybody can fall there (there is always the danger of water on the floor, you cannot avoid that). But also here the court saw it different and said that bath houses should pay special attention to older people.

Well, I am glad I am not in this service industry in China, because this is just ridiculous. How can a company be held liable for mistakes (swimmer) or accidents potentially related to being old (bath house)? If I were the bath house I would not let elderly people in anymore. And for the travel agent? Ask for a certificate that shows that you can swim, otherwise you will not be allowed on the beach or near the water. Is that really what people want, or are the courts just treating the average citizens as little kids?

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