Case of NS man Dominique Lee

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Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby sushi88 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:58 am

The mother of Dominique Sarron Lee posted a response on Facebook after her family’s lawsuit against the Singapore Armed Forces was struck out by the High Court and the family ordered to pay legal costs of $22,000 to the defendants.

Lee, 21, a private in the SAF, died in 2012 after an allergic reaction to zinc chloride fumes from smoke grenades used during a military exercise. His platoon commander Najib Hanuk was found to have detonated six smoke grenades instead of the limit of two specified in safety regulations.

Lee’s family sued the SAF, Najib, and safety officer Chia Thye Siong last year. Their lawyer, Irving Choh, argued that there was a contract between Lee and the SAF, which the SAF had breached.

All three defendants applied to have the lawsuit struck out, relying on a provision in the Government Proceedings Act to argue that they had immunity against suits of negligence if a death occurred during service.

During a coroner’s inquiry in 2013, it was also reported that State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid highlighted the fact that during a pre-enlistment medical check-up, Lee under-declared his history of asthma.

According to media reports, Judicial Commissioner Kannan Ramesh agreed in a closed-door hearing the Act covered Lee’s case and dismissed the suit, and ruled the family had to bear the costs for the lawsuit.

“Dom, how can I possibly pay them for taking away your life? Where is the justice? It seems, the price I paid has not been enough,” Lee’s mother, Felicia Seah, said on Facebook in a post written to her son.

Seah added, “Dom, in these past 3+ years, I have been worn-down, beaten and defeated by the

very government I taught you to trust; worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very system I counselled you to have faith in; worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very people I advised you to respect and honour.

“Dom, forgive me. I taught you wrong.”

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/mother-of-nsf-who ... 46090.html

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby sushi88 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:22 am

Lee, 21, a private in the SAF, died in 2012 after an allergic reaction to zinc chloride fumes from smoke grenades used during a military exercise. His platoon commander Najib Hanuk was found to have detonated six smoke grenades instead of the limit of two specified in safety regulations.

Lee’s family sued the SAF, Najib, and safety officer Chia Thye Siong last year. Their lawyer, Irving Choh, argued that there was a contract between Lee and the SAF, which the SAF had breached.

All three defendants applied to have the lawsuit struck out, relying on a provision in the Government Proceedings Act to argue that they had immunity against suits of negligence if a death occurred during service.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/mother-of-nsf-who ... 46090.html

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LEGAL RECOURSE AVAILABLE

The TRADOC Commander also sought to debunk the perception that SAF servicemen injured or killed cannot seek legal recourse under military rules. "This is incorrect," he said.

For instance, in 2004, four servicemen were charged in court for causing the death of another serviceman during combat survival training. Another example was the senior instructor who was charged and convicted of instigating a full-time NSman to commit a rash act and trying to pervert the course of justice in the incident where an overturned jeep resulted in the death of a full-time NSman.

"In both cases, the servicemen responsible were found guilty, and sentenced to imprisonment," he wrote.


PTE Lee's family had sued the SAF and its officers for negligence, but the case was dismissed by the High Court last week. The SAF argued that it is indemnified from suits for negligence if the deaths or injuries occurred during service, under the Government Proceedings Act.

Lawyer Amolat Singh explained why the law is in place. He said: "This makes sense because defence is a very important part of our nation. And if soldiers on duty happen to damage a car - I'm not saying the Government will not compensate; it definitely will - but you can't sue the Government in the court of law.

“First of all, the Government Proceedings Act does not rob any person of compensation or the protection. It merely regulates that you can't sue the Government. But having said that, the Government has always been forthcoming in wanting to negotiate, in wanting to be fair and offer compensation where it is rightly due.”

Mr Amolat added that it is unlikely that the Government Proceedings Act would be reviewed in the near future.

He said: "We have to accept that military training entails an element of danger. There are of course safety measures in place - SAF takes safety very, very seriously. But if we open the floodgates, and for every injury or every unfortunate death, you find all kinds of lawsuits against the Government, it may very well undermine the whole rationale of having a Government Proceedings Act."

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sin ... 79228.html
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1. I understand that the mother of this NS man cannot find a closure because she did not manage to sue the negligent officers successfully in the civil court.

2. I also understand that the two negligent officers have already been dealt with in the military court.

Question:
1. Why, after being trialed in the military court and punished the negligent officers, the mother cannot find closure? Punishment not severe enough?

2. Can someome explain the words in red to me how the 4 servicemen get imprisoned, in civil court or military court? If it is civil court, then did Dom Lee's mother make a mistake of suing SAF and the officers instead of just suing the officers if her objective is to get the officers to jail? The Government Proceedings Act clearly stated that the government cannot be sued right? So I am trying to understand what she wants? Whether she sues SAF in civil court or not, they would have compensated the family right or is she looking for more compensation by doing it in the civil court which is impossible. I am a bit confused by her intent.
My understanding is if she wants more money via civil court, then it is not going to happen due to the GPA. But if her objective is to get more punishment for the officers in terms of imprisonment for negligence which the military court supposedly did not do, I think suing the officers in civil court is possible right based on the above case marked in RED? :?

3. Why did her legal advisor advise to sue if it is clearly stated under the Government Proceeding Act that one cannot sue the government in this case SAF because it is indemnified from suits for negligence if the deaths or injuries occurred during service, under the Government Proceedings Act? So puzzling.
Last edited by sushi88 on Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby Jennifer » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:19 am

Has SAF and the negligent officers apologized?

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby Jennifer » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:24 am


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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby Jennifer » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:33 am


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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby raysusan » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:22 am

Feel sorry for her.

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby sushi88 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:48 am

Jennifer wrote:Has SAF and the negligent officers apologized?


I am not sure if any official apology has been reported. Maybe someone can advise?

Can we infer their remorse over the death of DL
1. from the support that SAF is giving to the family as a form of apology since 2012?
2. from the compensation that has been paid out to the family in 2013?
3. from changes made to more safety rules in training plus more awareness of asthmatic soldiers?
4. from punishment of the 2 negligent officers in the military court?
5. from waiving the cost of the court charges incurred for the law suit(latest from MINDEF)?

Assuming she wants an official apology, she is doing this via the civil court route?
Is there anything else she wants to achieve but is not achieved yet?

I can understand her pain and grief at the sudden loss but just wondering what is it that can help her get her closure? :? Is point 5 the latest update by MINDEF to address her pain? Will she find closure now? It is sad to watch someone so suffering.

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby sushi88 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:02 am

Hmmm... she has gone to SDP for help...

http://mothership.sg/2016/03/mother-of- ... -for-help/

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby jetsetter » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:25 am

sushi88 wrote:
Question:

2. Can someome explain the words in red to me how the 4 servicemen get imprisoned, in civil court or military court? If it is civil court, then did Dom Lee's mother make a mistake of suing SAF and the officers instead of just suing the officers if her objective is to get the officers to jail? The Government Proceedings Act clearly stated that the government cannot be sued right? So I am trying to understand what she wants? Whether she sues SAF in civil court or not, they would have compensated the family right or is she looking for more compensation by doing it in the civil court which is impossible. I am a bit confused by her intent.
My understanding is if she wants more money via civil court, then it is not going to happen due to the GPA. But if her objective is to get more punishment for the officers in terms of imprisonment for negligence which the military court supposedly did not do, I think suing the officers in civil court is possible right based on the above case marked in RED? :?


No, of course can go to criminal court. That was why she was filing a lawsuit like some others before. It's just that hers was struck out by AGC.

"SAF personnel can be charged and punished in the criminal courts for Penal Code offences of committing rash and negligent acts, even during the course of their military duties. The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), not the SAF, decides if the evidence warrants this course of action."


So before people start to point fingers at SAF, read its statement very carefully. And don't scandalise the court, please.


LTA Divanand and LTA Ng Chin Fong were sentenced to nine months imprisonment each. CPT Pandiaraj and 2WO Balakrishnan appealed against their conviction but their appeals were recently dismissed by the Chief Justice, and CPT Pandiaraj was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment while 2WO Balakrishnan was given 6 months imprisonment.


Master Sergeant Lee Kong Kean was sentenced to four months' jail for abetting Sergeant Cavin Tan to do a rash act and two months' jail for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Both sentences are to run consecutively.

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Re: Case of NS man Dominique Lee

Postby jetsetter » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:36 am

sushi88 wrote:5. from waiving the cost of the court charges incurred for the law suit(latest from MINDEF)?


Yup, late last night by NEH on his FB (Note to SAF).

Image

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