Goel Adesh Kumar v Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd

CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
JudgeJudith Prakash JA
Judgment Date24 April 2020
Neutral Citation[2020] SGCA 40
Citation[2020] SGCA 40
Docket NumberOriginating Summons No 12 of 2020
Hearing Date07 April 2020
Plaintiff CounselThe applicant in person
Defendant CounselNarayanan Sreenivasan SC, Shankar s/o Angammah Sevasamy and Eva Teh Jing Hui (K&L Gates Straits Law LLC)
Subject MatterCivil Procedure,Costs,Offer to settle
Published date30 April 2020
Steven Chong JA (delivering the judgment of the court):

The applicant, Mr Goel Adesh Kumar, filed CA/OS 12/2020 seeking to vary this court’s orders in CA/CA 21/2018 (“CA 21/2018”) pursuant to its inherent jurisdiction. The applicant submitted that the costs orders made against him in CA 21/2018 were in error. Having considered the parties’ submissions, we find that although the costs orders against the applicant in CA 21/2018 were in fact premised on two incorrect assumptions, ultimately they would not affect the basis on which the costs orders were made. We therefore dismiss the application. We now explain our reasons for doing so.

In HC/S 484/2013 (“the Suit”), the applicant brought a claim against the respondent, Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd, for false imprisonment, assault and battery. Alleged participants in these torts included auxiliary police officers employed by SATS Security Services Pte Ltd (“SATS”). As such, the respondent joined SATS as a third party. In [2015] SGHC 289 (“the Liability Judgment”), the High Court Judge (“the Judge”) found in favour of the applicant, and awarded him damages in the sum of $45,915.74. The Judge, however, rejected the majority of the sums the applicant claimed, which were for loss of earnings and aggravated and exemplary damages. It should be stated that the applicant’s aggregate claim was for the sum of $484,196.16. The Judge found the respondent liable for 80% of the award of damages, and SATS liable for 20%. However, since the applicant did not bring any claim against SATS, he could only recover against the respondent for its 80% share of the award, which amounted to $36,732.59. The applicant’s appeal in CA/CA 215/2015 to increase the award of damages was dismissed by this court.

The Judge set out his decision on costs in [2017] SGHC 43. We allowed the respondent’s appeal against the Judge’s costs orders in CA/CA 127/2017 and dismissed the applicant’s appeal against those orders in CA/CA 21/2018. We did not disturb the costs orders relevant to the present application. They are (see Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd v Goel Adesh Kumar and another appeal [2018] 2 SLR 1070 (“the CA Costs Judgment”) at [38]): The respondent shall pay the applicant’s costs incurred in the Suit on a standard basis on the Magistrate’s Court scale up to 2 July 2014. The applicant shall pay the respondent’s costs incurred in the Suit on an indemnity basis on the High Court scale from 2 July 2014.

The reason for these orders was the offer to settle made to the applicant by the respondent and SATS jointly on 2 July 2014 (“the First Offer”). The First Offer was for $62,000 with parties to bear their own costs. Subsequently, on 17 September 2014, the respondent and SATS made another joint offer to settle for $100,000, but with no provision for costs (“the Second Offer”). The applicant did not accept either offer, and the Suit proceeded for trial on 30 June 2015.

The costs consequences of the applicant’s rejection of the offers to settle are set out in O 22A r 9(3) of the Rules of Court (Cap 322, R 5, 2014 Rev Ed), which provides: Where an offer to settle made by a defendant — is not withdrawn and has not expired before the disposal of the claim in respect of which the offer to settle is made; and is not accepted by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff obtains judgment not more favourable than the terms of the offer to settle,


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