A man was sued for negligent homicide in Beijing on August 10, more than a year after his friend died from an accident that occurred as the two were fighting over who would pay the restaurant bill.
The case goes back to May 29, 2014 at a hot pot restaurant in the capital’s Fengtai district, according to a China.org article. The defendant, surnamed Cui, was having dinner with three friends and when the meal was done, he and another diner surnamed Zhang rushed from the table to be the first one to take care of the bill—as it often goes in China.
In the struggle, Zhang accidentally knocked over a cooking dish filled with boiling water, and sustained severe burns over his body. A month later, he died from acute heart failure. Doctors said that the burns had caused damage to the man’s myocardium, which led to fibrous pericarditis and eventually his death.
Zhang’s family believed Cui was partially to blame for the man’s death, and demanded 1.15 million yuan in compensation on the charge of negligent homicide.
Cui’s lawyers, however, argued that neither of the men is at fault.
“Zhang was drunk when he was stumbled into the pot. His death was due to heart disease, and the burns only hastened the condition. In addition, the restaurant should also be sued for the wrongful location of the hot pot,” the lawyer said.
The two parties have decided to settle the matter outside of court due to a lack of evidence.