Simon Says: Is kindergarten liable if your kid gets injured at school?
Published09/13/2017 by Simon Choi
This is the twenty-nineth in a weekly series of legal advice provided in a short and entertaining story format.
每周轻松有趣法律常識故事系列 - 第29篇
Keywords: Tort Liabilities, Minor, Person without civil capacity, Injury at Premises
Is kindergarten liable if your kid gets injured at school?
Jack and Jill have a 3-year old kid, Alex, and he goes to the best kindergarten in Guangzhou, Happy Kindergarten.
One day, Alex returned home crying, holding his right hand. It was rather red in colour, and Alex refused to eat food out of his bowl at home.
Befuddled, Jack and Jill visited the headmaster, Dumbledore, the next day to inquire about the incident. They suspected that Alex was bullied at school. After an investigation, it turned out to be Alex’s curiosity that killed the cat. When Alex was being served lunch at the cafeteria, he had wandered off to the teacher’s quarters, and pushed over a bowl of hot soup accidentally.
Furious, Jack asked Dumbledore why his son was let near hot soup. Dumbledore replied, “Well, it is his fault that he wondered around and spilled the soup. We told him to stay at the kiddy’s corner.”
Even more agitated, Jack said, “We pay so much tuition fees, and it is the kindergarten’s responsibility to take care of children when they are at school, isn’t it? You have to compensate for this incident.” Dumbledore sneered, “Can’t blame me if it is self inflicted, can you? Say a person doesn't keep his eyes on the road, and trips over and kills himself, can you blame the government for designing the road? Go ask the soup for compensation, for it burnt your son.”
Who is to blame for this incident?
Prof Simon Says:
The school is to blame for the incident, and it has to compensate for Alex’s wounds.
Kids in kindergartens are minors without civil capacity and are obviously not capable of taking care of themselves and there is a strict liability imposed by law. Under China’s Tort Liabilities Law, it is the school’s responsibility to take care of them within the school facilities, and any accidents occurred should be the liability of school unless otherwise the kindergarten can prove it has fulfilled its education and management duties. In Alex’s case, it is unlikely that the kindergarten could have any legal excuse.
Tort Liabilities Law of the People's Republic of China
Article 38 Where a person without civil capacity suffers a bodily injury while studying or living in a kindergarten, school or any other education institution, the kindergarten, school or education institution shall be liable unless it can prove it has fulfilled its education and management duties.
For more about this or to contact Professor Simon Choi at www.acmeardent.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +86 13823677853 or by WeChat: simonhkchoi.
About the Author: Professor Simon Choi
Prof Simon Choi, solicitor and linguist, is an international lawyer, qualified to practise law in England & Wales and in Hong Kong, China. Simon graduated from law schools of the Peking University, the University of London and the University of Hong Kong respectively, with an in-depth knowledge of Chinese laws and common laws and with more than 20 years experience in China practice and international trade, investment, finance, merger & acquisition. He is an adjunct professor of laws at the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. Simon is the founding partner of Acme Ardent and can be reached at email@example.com or +86 13823677853.
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