Appeal against the court's decision? Might want to reconsider that move

Mr Andrew Chua, who was paralysed from the waist down because of a slipped disc, lost his medical negligence suit on Tuesday against the hospital and the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on him. He now has to pay costs to the lawyers repres
Mr Andrew Chua, who was paralysed from the waist down because of a slipped disc, lost his medical negligence suit on Tuesday against the hospital and the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on him. He now has to pay costs to the lawyers representing SGH and surgeon Yue Wai Mun. -- ST FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - A 54-year-old man who was paralysed from the waist down because of a slipped disc lost his medical negligence suit on Tuesday against the hospital and the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on him.

The judge remarked that it would have sufficed for Mr Andrew Chua to sue either the hospital or the surgeon. As he wanted to take both on, he now has to pay legal costs to both parties.

Here are some other cases where the plaintiffs would have been better off walking away instead of pursuing matters further in court:

Thomson 800

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This January, the owners of high-end condominium Thomson 800 in Thomson Road failed to convince the authorities to increase the $556,000 compensation offered when a slice of its land was acquired for road development.

They were further ordered by the Appeals Board (Land Acquisition) to pay $53,000 in legal costs, as they had not managed to prove that the compensation offered was inadequate.

Residents of the condo opposite MacRitchie Reservoir had argued that the 600.9 sq m piece of land acquired by the Government in 2011 was worth at least $5.8 million.

The land was acquired as part of the construction of the North South Expressway Stage 1 from Admiralty Road to Toa Payoh Rise and redevelopment.

Central Provident Fund dispute between widow and "goddaughter"

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After unemployed ex-timber businessman Mr Saw, 63, killed himself in June 2013, he left all $37,000 in his Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings to a Ms Liu from China whom he met in a bar.

His widow, 61, tried to appeal in court, but lost the suit last November. Not only did it cost her $30,000 in legal fees, but she also had to pay $7,000 in court fees.

The family had written to the CPF Board which said that it had to follow the man's wishes. They then tried to file an injunction against the statutory board in June the year before to stop it from disbursing the funds to Ms Liu.

But the court ruled in Ms Liu's favour, saying that she and Mr Saw had a good relationship - regardless of whether she was his "goddaughter" or mistress. There was also not enough evidence to pass judgment on Mr Saw's mental state.

Raffles Town Club founders vs. shareholders

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Former remisier king Peter Lim and three other founders of Raffles Town Club (RTC) won an appeal in November 2012 in a mega legal action taken against them by the club and its current shareholders.

The Court of Appeal dismissed a $130 million claim brought against the four founders by the club's current shareholders, Chinese investor Lin Jian Wei and Singapore businesswoman Margaret Tung. The case began in 2008.

Mr Lin and Ms Tung had taken over RTC in July 2001. The club and the pair had argued that the four founders had siphoned off the club's funds through directors' fees, as well as management fees to an external firm of which the men were shareholders or beneficial shareholders.

Ms Tung and Mr Lin ended up having to pay the legal costs of three of the founders who brought counter-suits against them.

BNP Paribas vs. Jurong Shipyard

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French bank BNP Paribas failed in its 2008 appeal to wind up Sembcorp Marine unit Jurong Shipyard over disastrous foreign exchange losses of allegedly $77 million.

In June that year, the High Court granted Jurong Shipyard an injunction to stop BNP from filing the petition.

BNP's appeal against this decision was dismissed in November. Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong commented that it was inappropriate to use the threat of winding-up to force a solvent company to pay an "unadmitted debt".

He noted that BNP should have accepted Jurong Shipyard's offer to pay a sum reflecting the forex loss into an escrow account and start legal action to recover the alleged debt.

Freddie Koh vs. Singapore Swimming Club

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The Singapore Swimming Club failed last December to recover its $1.5 million from former president Freddie Koh, 68, who had used the sum to defend a 2009 defamation suit which he lost.

Judicial Commissioner Lee Kim Shin later said that the club cannot "simply change its mind" over whether to pay Mr Koh's legal bills.

He also ruled, however, that Mr Koh cannot be reimbursed by the club for the more than $300,000 he could end up paying after losing the defamation suits.

Mr Koh had made defamatory remarks during two management committee meetings about a previous committee's decision to purchase a water filtration package for two Olympic-size swimming pools.

Four of the affected committee members sued him in 2009 and were subsequently awarded $50,000 in damages each by the Court of Appeal. Two other members who also separately sued Mr Koh were awarded $50,000 each in damages earlier this year.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg