Ho Kiong Chan v Patipet

Judgment Date15 November 1965
Date15 November 1965
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y2 of 1965
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Ho Kiong Chan

[1965] SGFC 7

Tan Ah Tah ACJ


M Buttrose J


F A Chua J

Civil Appeal No Y2 of 1965

Federal Court

Evidence–Weight of evidence–Whether inferences supported by evidence–Tort–Negligence–Road accident resulting in personal injuries–Whether negligence proved

The plaintiff alleged that he and his brother had been waiting to cross the road when a car driven by the defendant approached him from his right in a zig-zag manner and hit him. The plaintiff's brother and another eyewitness testified to the same effect. The defendant's case was that the plaintiff suddenly ran out from behind a parked vehicle. He immediately applied his brakes, but was unable to avoid hitting the plaintiff. The trial judge held that the accident was caused solely by the negligence of the defendant and awarded the plaintiff damages of $2,000. The defendant appealed.

Held, allowing the appeal:

(1) The trial judge had drawn inferences and assumed facts not justified by the evidence. There was insufficient evidence supporting the plaintiff's contention that the defendant's car was on a zig-zag course. There was no evidence supporting the trial judge's finding that the plaintiff was knocked down as soon as he attempted to cross the road. The probabilities of the matter supported the defendant's case: at [6], [9] and [11].

(2) There was no negligence on the part of the defendant. The plaintiff was solely responsible for the accident: at [12].

D G Ironside (Ironside & DeSouza) for the appellant

Edwin J D'Souza (Edwin D'Souza & Co) for the respondent.

M Buttrose J

(delivering oral judgment):

1 These proceedings arose out of an accident which occurred in Havelock Road on 20 May 1964 at about 6.30pm between the plaintiff, a boy of eight years old, and the defendant who was driving his motor car.

2 The plaintiff's case was that he and his ten year old brother had left their house at about half past six to go and play in a playground. In order to do this they had to cross Havelock Road. On reaching Havelock Road, the plaintiff stood on the side of the road waiting to cross. His evidence was that he saw a car approaching on his right in what he described as a zig-zag manner which hit him as he stood there and knocked him down.

3 His ten-year-old brother also said that the plaintiff was standing still at the edge of the road and was knocked down by a car coming in what he too described as a zig-zag manner.


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