Chow Khai Hong v Tham Sek Khow and Another

CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeKarthigesu J
Judgment Date10 October 1991
Neutral Citation[1991] SGCA 37
Citation[1991] SGCA 37
Subject MatterMeasure of damages,Ground not argued in High Court,Personal injuries cases,Principles and circumstances affecting appellate court's interference of award of damages made by trial court,Whether damages to be assessed on lump sum basis or multiplier/multiplicand method,Not open to appeal where point was supported in court below,Mitigation a question of fact,Negligence,Duty to act reasonably to mitigate damages,Tort,Loss of future earnings,Appeals,Mitigation of damages,Part-time employment,Injuries led to loss of part-time job,Damages,Civil Procedure,Award of damages
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselPaul Chen Li Yen (Donaldson & Burkinshaw)
Plaintiff CounselWilliam Jansen (Jansen Menon & Partners)
Date10 October 1991
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No 47 of 1988

Cur Adv Vult

This appeal involved the assessment of damages for pre-trial loss of earnings and loss of future earnings arising out of a road accident on 17 July 1984 between a motor scooter ridden by the appellant and a motor pickup driven by the first respondent as the servant or agent of the second respondent. The appellant`s left leg was seriously injured in the accident, there being both dislocated joints and fractured bones in his left foot. The injuries caused him pain when he walked or stood for a long time. He was hospitalized for 20 days, and was on medical leave for a further 21/2 months and on light duty for another five months.

The respondents accepted liability on the basis of a 30% deduction for contributory negligence on the part of the appellant. The only dispute between the parties was as to the quantum of damages.

The appellant was 40 years old at the time of the accident. He held two jobs: from 8am to 4.30pm he worked as a chainsaw operator with the Housing and Development Board (`HDB`); from 9pm to 4am the next morning he worked as a security guard for Jensen Security Service. His assigned place of work was the Apollo Nite Club. He had been working at a second job (in addition to his job with the HDB) for four to five years: for about a year as a hawker`s assistant and thereafter as a security guard. Managing on a mere four hours` sleep a night, he explained that he had taken up a second job to supplement his meagre income. As a security guard, his monthly earnings were $200 salary, $60 allowance, and $160 tips. He was able to resume his daytime employment with the HDB in January 1985, half a year after the accident. However, the pain from his injuries made it impossible for him to also continue with his job as a security guard. It was in respect of the loss of this job as a security guard that he claimed damages for pre-trial loss of earnings and loss of future earnings.

At the trial in the district court, the trial judge awarded, inter alia, damages of $10,920 ($15,600 gross) for loss of future earnings based on a multiplicand of $260 per month for 5 years and $7,966 ($11,380 gross) for pre-trial loss of earnings. As a component of the damages for pre-trial loss of earnings, the sum of $100 a month for 28 months was attributed to tips which the appellant would have received as a security guard at the Apollo Nite Club, had it not been for the accident.

The respondents appealed to the High Court against the award of damages for loss...

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4 cases
  • Lee Wei Kong v Ng Siok Tong
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 13 d5 Janeiro d5 2012
    ...(folld) Chong Hwa Yin v Estate of Loh Hon Fock, deceased [2006] 3 SLR (R) 208; [2006] 3 SLR 208 (refd) Chow Khai Hong v Tham Sek Khow [1991] 2 SLR (R) 670; [1992] 1 SLR 4 (folld) Croke v Wiseman [1982] 1 WLR 71 (folld) De Cruz Andrea Heidi v Guangzhou Yuzhitang Health Products Co Ltd [2003]......
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    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 16 d2 Outubro d2 2001
    ...Lek v Lim Ah Koon [1998] 3 SLR (R) 551; [1999] 1 SLR 82 (folld) Chaplin v Hicks [1911] 2 KB 786 (distd) Chow Khai Hong v Tham Sek Khow [1991] 2 SLR (R) 670; [1992] 1 SLR 4 (refd) Data General (Canada) Ltd v Molnar Systems Group Ltd (1991) 85 DLR (4th) 392 (folld) Davies v Powell Duffryn Ass......
  • Low Swee Tong v Liew Machinery (Pte) Ltd
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 22 d6 Maio d6 1993
    ...AC 370; [1955] 1 All ER 326 (folld) Chi Jau alias Er Ah Jau v Lee Kok Bing [1992] SGHC 181 (folld) Chow Khai Hong v Tham Sek Khow [1991] 2 SLR (R) 670; [1992] 1 SLR 4 (refd) Davies v Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd [1942] AC 601 (refd) Fairley v John Thompson (Design and Contractin......
  • Public Prosecutor v Tay Fook Yuan
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 23 d1 Julho d1 2012
    ...Code (Cap.224). I was in agreement with the prosecution that the right of private defence did not apply to the accused33: PP v Soosay [1991] 2 SLR(R) 670. On the issue of credibility, I found the accused to be long on embellishment and short on the truth. In examination in chief, the accuse......

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