Amar Hoseen Mohammed Revai v Singapore Airlines Ltd

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeK S Rajah JC
Subject MatterSecurity for costs,Costs,Plaintiff not ordinarily resident in Singapore -Discretionary power of court to order security for costs,Air law,International Law,Grounds upon which court isto exercise discretion,arts 7, 28(1) & (2) Carriage of Air Act (Cap 32A, 1989 Ed),0 23 r 1(1) Rules of the Supreme Court 1990,Applicability of international conventions,Civil Procedure
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselTan Joo Thye (Rodyk & Davidson)
Plaintiff CounselSurian Sidambaram and Gurdeep Singh (KS Chia Gurdeep & Param)
Docket NumberSuit No 2321 of 1993
Date20 August 1994

Cur Adv Vult

There were two appeals filed by the plaintiff against the decisions of the learned assistant registrar:

(1) ordering the plaintiff to give security for costs of $15,000;

(2) giving the defendants leave to amend the defence.

I set aside the order of the learned assistant registrar ordering the plaintiff to provide security for costs of $15,000 and dismissed the appeal granting leave to amend the defence.

The defendants are now only appealing against the order I made on security for costs.

The question was whether the plaintiff, a foreigner not ordinarily resident in Singapore, should be ordered to give security for costs.

The plaintiff is a businessman carrying on business in Jordan. The defendants are an international air carrier incorporated in the Republic of Singapore, with branch offices worldwide.

The defendants had agreed to fly the plaintiff from Singapore to Sydney under a contract of carriage dated 17 February 1992. It was an implied term of the contract of carriage that the defendants would fly the plaintiff safely to his destination.

Background - plaintiff`s case

The plaintiff boarded the defendants flight number SQ221 in Singapore for Sydney on the 20 February 1992. Whilst the aircraft was in flight, the plaintiff was walking in the aisle of the aircraft when he slipped and fell, and suffered injuries to his head and neck because of a piece of butter which had been negligently dropped and allowed to remain on the floor of the aisle by the defendants` servants and or agents on board the aircraft.

The plaintiff was attended to by a doctor on board and given oxygen by the cabin crew. He was subsequently taken to St George`s Hospital in Sydney on 21 February 1992 in an ambulance. The plaintiff complained of blurred vision and dizziness. The doctor found sub-occipital tenderness but the x-rays taken of the skull and neck were normal. The plaintiff was discharged with his neck in a support collar.

Dr TK Tse examined the plaintiff in Australia on 24 February 1992 and expressed the opinion that the plaintiff was suffering from head injury. The plaintiff was warned of signs of severe headaches, vomiting and drowsiness and to seek immediate medical attention when they occur. He was told that if the giddiness persists, a CT scan may be called for.

Dr TK Tse examined the plaintiff again on 2 March 1992, after the plaintiff complained of pain in the neck and giddiness and was treated with a collar support.

Dr Said M Abderahman, a consultant neurosurgeon in Jordan, examined the plaintiff and expressed the opinion that the plaintiff was suffering from head injury post-concussional syndrome on 10 March 1991. The plaintiff was told to continue with conservative treatment and home rest and to see the consultant again two weeks after 10 March 1991. The examination on 10 March 1991 showed that the movements of the neck were limited in all directions and there was tenderness along the back of the neck and an area of tenderness on the superior aspect of his skull but no abnormal neurological signs were detected.

In his medical report of 12 April 1992, Dr Ali Hussein Qasem has said that he examined the plaintiff and that on examination, the movements of the neck were limited in all directions and that there was tenderness along the back of the neck. The plaintiff was treated conservatively with a support collar. Dr Ali Hussein Qasem visited the plaintiff everyday during the period 12 March 1992 to 12 April 1992 when the plaintiff was resting.

Dr AA Abu Farheh is a neuropsychiatrist in Jordan. In his report dated 13 May 1992, the doctor reported that he reviewed the medical reports and found that the plaintiff had a head injury on 20 February 1992. The plaintiff`s assistant, wife and sister-in-law confirmed the plaintiff`s complaints of nervousness, bad memory and drowsiness. Dr Abu Farheh found the plaintiff to be in an anxious mood, irritable and with decreased concentration. He was of the opinion that the plaintiff was suffering from a post head injury neurosis. His diagnosis was that the plaintiff had neurotic disability and that neurotic disability may last long and that a final report about the plaintiff`s condition needs close follow-up for a period of 18 months. The plaintiff was recommended to do an EEG, to take prescribed drug medication, not to travel alone or make serious decisions on his own.

Dr Rawya Borno is a consultant psychiatrist in Jordan and in his report dated 13 July 1992, he has stated that there was firm evidence that the plaintiff had improved during the last two months and that the symptoms were expected to improve and the treatment required was symptomatic in nature. Follow-up was required but the duration of it was difficult to predict. The prognosis of the case was good because the plaintiff had shown improvement.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had acted in breach of the contract of carriage and that the plaintiff had suffered loss and damage. The plaintiff relies on art 17 of the Warsaw Convention as enacted in the Carriage of Air Act (Cap 32A, 1989 Ed) which provides:

The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the event of death or wounding of a passenger, if the accident which caused the damage so sustained took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any operations of embarking or disembarking.

The plaintiff alleges negligence on the part of the defendants in:

(1) failing to ensure that the common aisle on board on which passengers were expected to walk was safe and free from slippery materials;

(2) dropping or allowing a piece of butter to remain on the cabin floor aisle during the flight;

(3) failing to warn or in any manner alert the plaintiff of the slippery material condition of the aisle;

(4) failing to take reasonable measures to prevent accidents of the type that occurred to the plaintiff from happening.



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3 cases
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    ...of the case, it is just for the courts to order security for costs. (See Amar Hoseen Mohammed Revai v. Singapore Airlines Limited [1995] 1 SLR 77, where it was stated “In exercising the discretion under O 23 r 1(1) the court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case. It is no lo......

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