did you guys read the article today in Straits times about the poor teacher who had to pay like THOUSANDS out of a small motorbike accident?
Costly court battle
A PRIMARY school teacher involved in a traffic accident in 2004 was awarded $188 for the damage to his motorbike.
Three years and several court appearances later, the 35-year-old now finds he has to pay $45,000 -and do it in under a month.
This is not all: His former lawyer is also after him for $80,000 in legal fees.
So how did a minor traffic scrap for which he was to receive a small compensation balloon into a liability that size?
Mr Jonathan Lock's story began with a November 2004 collision between his nine-year-old, second-hand BMW motorbike and a Toyota sport utility vehicle driven by a Ms Jessiline Goh.
When the case went before the Primary Dispute Resolution Centre (PDRC) in March last year, all he wanted was a 'swift resolution' to the case.
PDRC hearing ended with District Judge Seng Kwang Boon awarding him $188; Ms Goh, on the other hand, was ordered to pay costs of almost $1,200.
Through her lawyers from Assomull & Partners, she appealed the decision in the High Court on the grounds that the PRDC - now called the e@dr Centre - was not a court and that the order was invalid.
Judge Seng, her lawyers argued, had no power to issue a court order, since the settlement was not part of a court proceeding.
Justice Lai Siu Chiu, agreeing with this, overturned the PDRC decision and ordered Mr Lock to pay the appeal costs of $63,000.
Then he filed an appeal against this and managed to bring the sum down to $45,000.