SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai girl

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SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai girl

Postby raysusan » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:08 am

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SINGAPORE: The SMRT has filed its defence in the S$3.4-million lawsuit brought against the transport operator by the family of the Thai girl whose legs were severed after she fell onto the Ang Mo Kio MRT Station tracks in April.

In its defence papers, the SMRT reiterates that all the safety warnings and precautions - such as the yellow lines - were in place and that the distance which the train travelled after the driver slammed on the brakes were within "safety specifications".

The SMRT argues that 15-year-old Nitcharee Peneakchansak's "negligence" contributed to her falling "onto the tracks at the MRT station on her own accord".

It also claims that the girl was "aware of the danger of the oncoming trains and that by standing behind the yellow safety line until the train had stopped", she would have been reasonably safe from falling onto the tracks.

In court papers submitted by its lawyers from KhattarWong - a copy of which was obtained by TODAY, the SMRT argues that the girl had failed to keep a proper lookout for the oncoming train and take reasonable care of her own well-being despite knowing the risks of falling.

It adds that she had failed to stand behind the yellow safety line until the train had stopped despite clear warning signs displayed at the MRT station.

Nitcharee was in Singapore to study English when she fell into the tracks at the train station, as the train was pulling into the station. One of her legs were severed while the other leg was so badly mangled that it had to be amputated later in hospital.

Her plight led members of the public to donate more than S$400,000 but her family had told the media that the amount made up just a small proportion of her medical bills and they needed to take legal action.

The teenager's father, Mr Kittanesh Peneakchanas, 56, an insurance agent in Thailand, is suing the SMRT for S$3.4 million.

The writ was filed in the High Court here in June through Singapore law firm Cosmas and Company.

The family filed the lawsuit against the SMRT after Nitcharee's family rejected its offer of S$5,000 in compensation, citing the future cost of her prosthetic legs and her medical bills as the main reason.

It claimed that the SMRT did not have adequate safety measures in place. The SMRT refuted the claims in its defence papers, listing safety measures that include an acceptable distance between the edge of the platform and the safety yellow line, safety announcements which are broadcast before a train arrives, as well as clearly displayed warning signs at the MRT station to warn passengers against stepping beyond the yellow safety line until the train stops.

The SMRT also argues that the absence of a barrier is not a danger or trap to minors and visitors as it had put in place these safety measures.

Mr Peneakchanasak had also claimed that his daughter was fully conscious and that the platform was "very crowded" when the incident happened.

The SMRT has also refuted this, saying that the incident happened on April 3, a Sunday, at 11am - which was not the station's peak time and there was no need to deploy manpower to patrol the platform because it was not crowded.

The Thai family's lawyer, Mr Cosmas Gomez, had earlier said that he would ask SMRT to release a copy of the CCTV video footage of the incident, which is expected to be a key part of the evidence in the case. - TODAY

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby Jennifer » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:42 am

Wondering if the CCTV had captured the moment of accident.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby limlim » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:37 pm

1. SMRT has been operating for decades in SG w/o accident.

2. Many developed countries don't have barriers too.

So, based on reasonableness, there is no liability on SMRT on not providing a barrier.

So, the thai has no case.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby caroline3sg » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:50 pm

limlim wrote:1. SMRT has been operating for decades in SG w/o accident.

2. Many developed countries don't have barriers too.

So, based on reasonableness, there is no liability on SMRT on not providing a barrier.

So, the thai has no case.


There was precedent of accident in which there was a female teacher who fell onto the tracks while reading students' scripts and died when hit by train.

The Thai girl's father wants to get compensated for her handicap as she needs prostatic legs for life.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby phankao » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:58 pm

caroline3sg wrote:
limlim wrote:1. SMRT has been operating for decades in SG w/o accident.

2. Many developed countries don't have barriers too.

So, based on reasonableness, there is no liability on SMRT on not providing a barrier.

So, the thai has no case.


There was precedent of accident in which there was a female teacher who fell onto the tracks while reading students' scripts and died when hit by train.

The Thai girl's father wants to get compensated for her handicap as she needs prostatic legs for life.


Parents never teach kid to be careful properly. Some more so daring to send a 14year old alone overseas. This not a school trip, leh.

Even in BKK, there's no barriers, right?

I've always told my kids to stand far behind the yellow line. THey can get disorientated/dizzy as the train arrives, so better to be safer.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby limlim » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:20 pm

caroline3sg wrote:
There was precedent of accident in which there was a female teacher who fell onto the tracks while reading students' scripts and died when hit by train.

The Thai girl's father wants to get compensated for her handicap as she needs prostatic legs for life.


For your example, who is negligence? it seems to be the teacher but maybe it is better not to comment w/o more facts.

The term compensation implies that the other party is liable.

However, based on the points that I have mentioned, clearly not having barrier cannot be used as a reason to say that SMRT is negligent or liable

The Thai should ask for "goodwill donation" from SMRT instead, not a lawsuit to ask for "compensation", which, clearly, has no case.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby caroline3sg » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:12 am

limlim wrote:
caroline3sg wrote:
There was precedent of accident in which there was a female teacher who fell onto the tracks while reading students' scripts and died when hit by train.

The Thai girl's father wants to get compensated for her handicap as she needs prostatic legs for life.


For your example, who is negligence? it seems to be the teacher but maybe it is better not to comment w/o more facts.

The term compensation implies that the other party is liable.

However, based on the points that I have mentioned, clearly not having barrier cannot be used as a reason to say that SMRT is negligent or liable

The Thai should ask for "goodwill donation" from SMRT instead, not a lawsuit to ask for "compensation", which, clearly, has no case.


I am not disputing with you regarding the Thai father has no case. I am just stating there was similar case of accident with no barriers installed.

SMRT gave $5000 as "goodwill" and he treated it as compensation which to him is a small amount (he is in insurance line), that's why he sued.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby tankee » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:22 am

since he is in insurance line, wouldn't his daughter be insured? :?

able to send his girl to study here, he must be of quite senior level, if not owner of the firm.

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby Jennifer » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:18 pm

If the Thai family wins the case, who knows how many desperate pple will create a similar "accident" to get a big sum of compensation?

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Re: SMRT files defence against lawsuit by family of Thai gir

Postby pinky » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:27 pm

Jennifer wrote:If the Thai family wins the case, who knows how many desperate pple will create a similar "accident" to get a big sum of compensation?


true, the $3.4M claim is a huge amount and must be one of the highest so far

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