Man wanted to be paid for attending court during wife's lawsuit against PUB, court rejects him

6 days ago 48

SINGAPORE: A court has rejected the payment claims of a man who wanted to be compensated for his time for accompanying his wife to court for her lawsuit against PUB.

His wife, Ms Chan Hui Peng, had sued PUB for S$5 million after falling into an open manhole.

The trial was set for two weeks in November 2020, but Ms Chan accepted an undisclosed settlement offer by PUB on the fourth day.

Ms Chan's husband, Mr Sim Kwang Jui, accompanied her to and from court for the four trial days. He had been subpoenaed by PUB as a witness, but his attendance as a witness was scheduled for the second week, so he never attended court as a witness.

In a judgment issued on Friday (Sep 23), Justice Andre Maniam detailed how Mr Sim sought payment from PUB for attending court on the first day of trial.

He asked for S$34.59 for transport and meal expenses, providing receipts, and S$750 for a day's worth of work. He said he earned S$14,700 a month.

PUB said it was not obliged to pay Mr Sim anything, but the board's lawyers from WhiteFern LLC said they could advise PUB to pay for the transport and meal expenses of S$34.59. Mr Sim did not want this offer.

He said he would be referring the issue of other subpoena fees on his first day of attendance in court to the Law Society of Singapore, but WhiteFern told him this was not the proper forum.

Mr Sim complained to LawSoc anyway, claiming that PUB's lawyers had "cheated" him out of payment for attending court on the first day. His complaint was dismissed.

Mr Sim then filed a claim in the Small Claims Tribunals against WhiteFern. He raised his claim to S$3,815.09 and alleged that he had a contract with WhiteFern for the provision of services for that sum. He claimed that those services were for his court attendance as a subpoenaed witness. At this point, he had increased his claim from one day's worth of court attendance to five days.

The Small Claims Tribunals dismissed Mr Sim's claim. At this point, PUB offered Mr Sim S$1,000 to settle the matter, according to court documents.

However, he turned it down and said he would file a lawsuit if he was not paid S$3,932.93 and complained to the Ministry of Sustainability ...

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