After injuring a moped-rider while driving without a license in Shanghai, a British man and his wife were ordered to pay 750,000 RMB in damages — they decided they would rather not.
While driving his Chinese wife’s car in Jinqiao, the distracted man crashed into a local named Zhang, who was riding a moped. Because of the crash, Zhang received brain damage that has caused permanent disabilities. The British driver only paid a fraction of Zhang’s medical bills, causing Zhang to sue the driver and his wife, according to The Paper.
The court held that the expat driver is mostly responsible for Zhang’s injuries, although Zhang’s moped did not have a license plate. It ordered the couple to pay a whopping 750,000 RMB. They ignored the ruling.
After a few days, Zhang applied for an enforcement order, which prompted the court to find out the couple’s whereabouts. It turned out that the British man quit his job and returned to the UK immediately after the ruling, while his wife stayed on in China, but left their registered address. Almost all of the couple’s property has been transferred out of their name, including their bank savings.
The court took further action and forbade both the man and his wife from leaving China, assuming that he probably wanted to return to see her again sometime. The judge also repeatedly summoned the wife to warn her that if the couple refuses to comply with the court order, there would be further legal action taken against them.
In the end, the couple decided to pay the sum, using money that the man transferred from the UK.
So it turns out that if you run over someone, you will have to face the consequences. For a list of more obscure traffic offenses that expats might not know, check out this seminar Shanghai police held to teach foreigners the rules of the road in China.
By Amy Yang