Thai teenager Nitcharee Peneakchanasak has lost her appeal against an earlier ruling that rail operator SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) were not at fault for an accident at Ang Mo Kio MRT station in April 2011. The Court of Appeal on Wednesday dismissed the 18-yearold’s claim that SMRT and LTA were negligent by failing to ensure that the station was safe for commuters. She was 14 when she fell onto the tracks at Ang Mo Kio MRT station on April 3, 2011 and was hit by a train pulling in – leading to one leg being severed and the other being amputated. In January this year, Nitcharee had lost her claim of $3.4 million in damages and was ordered to bear the costs of the trial, including lawyers fees, incurred by the defendants and the fees of the expert witnesses who testified during the 12-day trial in 2012. After Wednesday’s verdict, defendants’ lawyer, Mr K. Anparasan of KhattarWong, told the court that his clients would not be pursuing cost “out of compassion, sympathy and goodwill”. Speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court, Nitcharee who was fighting to hold back her tears and her father, thanked Singaporeans for their support and generosity.
- It is very unfortunate and saddening whenever we hear of such predicament. Our hearts go out to her.
- There maybe attempts by business owners to make their premises/operations safe by displaying warning signs, etc, but while these steps can assist in preventing a claim, it doesn’t stop third parties from assuming you’re at fault. Unfortunately, we often hear of business owners who’ve been accused of negligence by 3rd party and are seeking compensation for damages following an accident even when there may be little evidence to suggest that the business owner was at fault.
- In an increasing litigious society, it is vital for businesses to maintain sufficient public liability insurance. The impact of not having appropriate insurance in place is that the business owner might need to pay for hefty legal defence cost against a claim, and as a worst case, be found liable to pay for the damages awarded by the courts as well, which can be a financial strain for businesses.