One Japanese teenager may have just set a record for the wildest night ever, and he and his family won’t have to pay a dime. The 16-year-old boy and a friend managed to get hold of his father’s credit card and went for an alcohol-fueled tour of Kyoto’s most elegant and expensive nightclubs. After the teen wracked up an insane $54,000 bar tab in one night, a Japanese court has ruled that his family is not responsible for footing the bill.
According to Japan Today, the Kyoto District Court invalidated 4,800,000 yen of the 5,500,000 (about $54,0000) bill on Tuesday. That means the teen’s family only has to pay for about $6,850 of the original bill. That’s certainly a steep cost for a single night out, but considering the teen was regularly downing bottles of whiskey and champagne worth about $4,000, it seems he might have gotten off easy.
How exactly did this youth (who was not identified due to his age) manage to charge $54k to his father’s credit card? And who ended up footing the bill?
For starters, the teen and his friend spent the night downing the fanciest, most expensive alcohol they could get their hands on. This included everything from Dom Perignon to Remy Martin, so they definitely weren’t skimping on quality. But another large fraction of the $54k bar tab came from the women he paid to spend time with.
In Japan, certain types of bars called “cabaret clubs” (“kyabakura” in Japanese) allow patrons to pay attractive, often skimpily clothed, women to sit down at their tables, drink and talk to them. The women charge for the time they spend with each patron, and their job is basically to get each guest even drunker. As AFP reports, however, there is no indication that the teen or his friend ever paid for sex. They just bought a lot of drinks and a lot of time with a lot of attractive women.
As for the credit card charges, the Kyoto District Court ruled that American Express bore most of the responsibility for the teen’s binge drinking. Presiding Judge Hashidume states that the card company should have been doing more to monitor the outrageous charges coming from the card. It seems that American Express made no effort to see if it was actually the cardholder charging such an astronomical bar tab.
Additionally, because the 16-year-old is legally forbidden from entering into a binding contract, he can’t be held responsible for the charges or his entrance into the adults-only clubs. That leaves American Express to foot the majority of the $54k bar tab itself.