China badminton player paralysed after standing on stray cat in stadium during game, court orders feline ‘keeper’ pay US$33,000 in compensation

China badminton player paralysed after standing on stray cat in stadium during game, court orders feline ‘keeper’ pay US$33,000 in compensation

A court in China has ordered a man who fed a stray cat to pay compensation of 240,000 yuan (US$33,000) to a badminton enthusiast who was paralysed when the feline tripped him up during a game.

The man, surnamed Xiao, an employee of a badminton stadium in Shanghai, must bear legal responsibility because the cat caused harm to a man, surnamed Wu, who was playing badminton, Shanghai Video reported.

In April, Wu joined his colleagues to play badminton but they did not notice there was a cat on the court.

Wu was engrossed in the game, focusing on his colleague who was ready to serve the ball. After he jumped to return the serve, he felt himself land on something furry.

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The player injured himself seriously when he stepped on the cat in the middle of a game. Photo: Shutterstock

He lost his balance and fell to the ground. In hospital, Wu was diagnosed with compound fractures and paralysis in his right leg.

He later sued the badminton stadium and its employee and put in a request for compensation of 350,000 yuan (US$49,000).

A colleague told investigators that Xiao regularly fed the cat in a toilet at the stadium and would bathe it and take it to the vet when required.

As a result, the court deemed Xiao to be the cat’s keeper.

Xiao defended himself saying he fed the cat but did not keep it as his pet. He contended that he was neither with the cat when the accident happened, nor could he control its movements.

The court was not convinced and said keepers should take responsibility if their pets bring harm to others and ordered Xiao to pay compensation of 240,000 yuan (US$33,000).

In addition, the court said Xiao’s employer who owns the badminton stadium, must pay some of the compensation if Xiao did not complete his payments.

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A court ruled that the stadium employee who fed and cleaned the stray cat was its de facto keeper. Photo: Shutterstock

The story has divided opinion on Weibo. At the time of writing, it had attracted 5.36 million views and 13,000 comments.

“I support the verdict. If he really cares for the cat, he should take it home rather than just feeding it,” one person said.

Another said: “This sends a warning message to people who feed stray animals, does it not?”

“It feels sad. Who would dare to feed stray animals now?” a third wrote.

“Do you not think the badminton stadium should be mainly responsible for the accident?” someone else asked.

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