A hotel that was ordered by a Bao'an court to compensate people who suffered food poisoning at a wedding banquet has appealed the court's verdict.
The case was heard at Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court on Monday.
A man surnamed Deng and his fiancee entertained about 260 people at a wedding banquet at the hotel on the night of Sept. 19 last year. The hotel charged the newlyweds 97,000 yuan (US$15,859.5) for the banquet.
A number of guests felt unwell after the banquet, showing symptoms including fever and vomiting.
In the following two days, 45 people sought treatment in hospitals and on Sept. 25, Bao'an's center for disease control and prevention (CDC) confirmed that 35 of them were suffering from food poisoning.
Deng and his wife then took the hotel owner and the restaurant where they had the banquet to Bao'an District People's Court, and were awarded the cost of the banquet plus 970,000 yuan.
The couple demanded the defendants to pay 4,817 yuan, which they said was used in handling medical expenses, and 10,000 yuan in psychological damage, but the court awarded them only 300 yuan.
The defendants appealed the ruling, sending the case to Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court.
The lawyer representing the defendants argued that the couple also brought wine and food to the banquet, making it hard to determine the source of the food poisoning.
The unidentified lawyer also claimed that no bacteria had been detected in samples from the banquet.
The lawyer said only 13 percent of the people attending the banquet fell ill, so the hotel shouldn't be asked to pay a full refund.
The lawyer further argued that even if the food was contaminated, it wasn't done deliberately and therefore the hotel should not need to pay punitive compensation. The intermediate court has yet to hand down its ruling.