Woman Sues Co-Worker for Breaking Her Ribs by Hugging Her Too Hard

A Chinese woman recently took a work colleague to court, after they allegedly broke three of her ribs by hugging her too hard.

This bizarre story started back in May of 2021, when the plaintiff, a woman from Yueyang city, in China’s Hunan province, was chatting with a colleague at her workplace. At one point, a male co-worker came over and greeted her with a hug, which allegedly caused her to scream in pain. The man had apparently hugged her so hard that she continued feeling pain in her chest even after leaving work, but she didn’t seek medical help right away preferring to rub some hot oil on her chest and go to bed instead.

Photo: Anastasia Sklyar/Unsplash

Five days after the ultra-tight hug, the pain in the woman’s chest intensified, so she finally went to a hospital for a checkup. An X-ray exam revealed that she had not one, but three broken ribs, two on the right side of her rib cage and one on the left. She was forced to take time off from work, which resulted in lost income, and also spent considerable sums of money on medical bills and nursing services.

During her recovery period, the woman reportedly met up with the male co-worker who accidentally broke her ribs, and tried to negotiate a kind of settlement with them. However, they failed to reach any kind of agreement, because the man claimed that she had no proof her injury had been caused by his friendly embrace.

In the end, the woman decided to file a lawsuit against her co-worker at the Yunxi Court of Yueyang City, asking to compensate her for the financial losses she incurred because of their strong hug.

A judge recently ordered the man to pay his co-worker 10,000 yuan ($1,500) as compensation for accidentally breaking her ribs with a hug. Although the damage to the ribs was discovered after 5 days, the court said that there was no evidence to prove that during those 5 days the woman took part in any activities that could have caused the broken bones. Plus, there were the testimonies of co-workers who recalled the woman’s painful reaction after the hug.

The story sparked a debate on Chinese social media, but most people expressed sympathy for the woman’s situation and advised others to restrain their actions when greeting friends and colleagues.

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