Chan Kum Fook and Others v Welfare Insurance Co Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeTan Ah Tah J
Judgment Date20 September 1975
Neutral Citation[1975] SGHC 11
Citation[1975] SGHC 11
Plaintiff CounselKaruppan Chettiar (Murphy & Dunbar)
Published date19 September 2003
Docket NumberCivil Suit No 1737 of 1972
Defendant CounselM Coomaraswamy (Rodyk & Davidson)
Date20 September 1975
Subject MatterInsurance,Tort,Whether insurance company liable to indemnify claims against driver,Company's motor van driven by employee of company,ss 4(3) & 8(1) Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act (Cap 88, 1970 Ed),Accident incurred whilst travelling in the course of employment,Insurers relying on exceptions (ii) and (iii) to s II of policy,ss 4(3) & 8(1) Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act,Negligence,Accident occurred whilst travelling in the course of employment,Accident insurance,Duty of care

In this case the first and second plaintiffs were employees of the Century Engineering Co (the company). The company was the owner of a motor van No SGB 2099 which was being driven by one Yong Chan Seng, a driver employed by the company. The first and second plaintiffs were by reason of or in pursuance of a contract of employment with the company travelling as passengers in the motor van which was being driven by Yong Chan Seng from the premises of the company, which was their employer, to a worksite where they were to carry on work as employees of the company. Owing to the negligence of Yong Chan Seng the motor van ran off the road and crashed into a tree resulting in the first and second plaintiffs sustaining bodily injuries. The third plaintiff who was the father of the second plaintiff was put to loss and expense.

The three plaintiffs commenced two separate proceedings claiming damages against the owner of the motor van and Yong Chan Seng. The two actions were consolidated and eventually judgment for damages was obtained by all three plaintiffs against the owner of the motor van and Yong Chan Seng.

The motor van was insured under a policy issued by the defendants and the present action has been brought by the three plaintiffs who are relying, inter alia, on s 4(3) and s 8(1) of the Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act (Cap 88, 1970 Ed) (the Act).

It is submitted by counsel for the defendants that because of the wording of exception (ii) to s II of the policy the defendants are not liable to make any payment to the plaintiffs.

Exceptions (ii) and (iii) to s 11 read as follows:

The Company shall not be liable in respect of

(i) ...

(ii) death of or bodily injury to any person in the employment of the Insured arising out of and in the course of such employment

(iii) death of or bodily injury to any person (other than a passenger carried by reason of or in pursuance of a contract of employment) being carried in or upon or entering or getting on to or alighting from the motor vehicle at the time of the occurrence of the event out of which any claim arises.



The wording of these two exceptions is based on the first two provisos to s 4(1) of the Act.

In my opinion the effect of the words in brackets in exception (iii) is to make the defendants liable in respect of injuries sustained by the first and second plaintiffs who were passengers `carried by reason of or in pursuance of a contract of employment`. In the...

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2 cases
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    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
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