A hug is proven to reduce stress and increase happiness levels, which happens with the release of oxytocin or the “cuddle hormone” when we hug, touch or sit closer to someone. It gives us extreme comfort and the feeling of being protected. But it would surely not feel so good if this fantastic gesture by someone breaks our ribs! It happened for real with a woman from China who sued her colleague after she got three of her ribs broken as he hugged her way too hard. And now the court has ordered her colleague to pay 10,000 yuan (₹1.16 lakh) as compensation.
In this bizarre incident which reportedly happened in May 2021, the woman from the Hunan province of China’s Yueyang city was talking with a co-worker when she was approached by a male colleague who gave her an extremely tight hug. It allegedly caused her to scream in pain and she continued to feel discomfort in her chest even after leaving the office. But she did not instantly seek professional medical help and instead rubbed some hot oil on her chest and went to sleep.
The pain after the ultra-tied hug intensified in the woman’s chest five days later which forced her to go to the hospital for a checkup.
An X-ray exam revealed that she had three broken ribs- two on the right side of the ribcage and one on the left. Due to this, she was forced to take an off from work which led to a loss in her income. She also had to pay heavy medical bills for the treatment and nursing services.
While she was recovering, she reportedly met with the male co-worker who had caused the accident and made attempts to negotiate a settlement with him. However, the man argued that she had no way to prove that her ribs got broken because of his friendly hug and therefore they could not reach an agreement.
Consequentially, she filed a lawsuit against her co-worker in the Yunxi Court of Yueyang City asking for compensation for her financial losses.
A judge has recently ordered the male colleague to pay 10,000 yuan as compensation for accidentally incurring the woman with losses. Although the damage to the ribs was discovered by the woman 5 days post the crushing hug, the court said that there was no evidence to prove that the woman would have taken part in any other activity that could have led to the broken bones.