Thai teen who lost her legs loses appeal against SMRT, LTA

Thai teen who lost her legs loses appeal against SMRT, LTA
Thai teenager Nitcharee Peneakchanasak outside Supreme Court on Oct 01.

SINGAPORE - Thai teenager Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, who lost both her legs after falling onto train tracks three years ago, has lost her appeal claiming damages against SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

On Apr 3, 2011, Ms Nitcharee fell onto the MRT tracks at Ang Mo Kio MRT station and was hit by a train pulling into the station, resulting in the one of her legs being severed and the other amputated.

According to Channel Newsasia, she subsequently sued SMRT and LTA for $3.4 million, saying that they had breached their duty of care in negligence.

The High Court had dismissed the claim in January this year, and she was ordered to bear the costs of the trial.

On Oct 1, the Court of Appeal also dismissed the 18-year-old's claim that SMRT and LTA were negligent in ensuring that the station was safe for commuters.

Today newspaper reports that Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Judges of appeal Chao Hick Tin and Andrew Phang, who presided over the session, agreed with the earlier decision that the failure to provide platform screen doors at the station did not constitute negligence, and that the station had been reasonably safe.

According to The Straits Times, SMRT and LTA's lawyer, Mr K. Anparasan, told the court that his clients would not be pursuing costs "out of compassion, sympathy and goodwill".

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Nitcharee said that the past few years had been ones of anxiety and worry, and that she was relieved the episode was nearing an end.

Her father, Kittanesh Peneakchanasak, thanked all Singaporeans, Thais and foreigners living here who have given their encouragement.

After the accident, it was reported that Ms Nitcharee had received more than $400,000 in donations from Singaporeans to help pay for her treatment.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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