Thai teen vs SMRT, LTA: Case to wrap up on Monday

The lawsuit between Thai teenage Nitcharee Peneakchanasak and rail operator SMRT and the Land Transport Authority wraps up on Monday with both counsels giving their closing submissions to the High court.

It will then be for Judicial Commissioner Vinodh Coomaraswamy, to decide who is at fault. Assessment of damages may be conducted later.

The trial which was bifurcated, from Oct 29 to Nov 20, 2012, saw 13 witnesses, including Nitcharee, giving their testimonies in court. The 16-year-old is claiming $3.4 million in damages from SMRT and LTA for their negligence, which resulted in her falling off the platform of Ang Mo Kio MRT station and losing her legs on April 3, 2011.

The amount included the estimated cost of her medical bills as well as the 20 pairs of prosthetic legs she will need over her lifetime.

The court heard that Nitcharee was allegedly pushed from the platform by jostling crowds and fell onto the MRT tracks as a train was pulling in.

The accident severed one of her legs and led to the other being amputated later. Nitcharee who was then 14, was in Singapore for a month-long holiday and to take English classes.

More than $400,000 were donated by well-wishers here and in Thailand after the accident.

Nitcharee, who is from Trang in Thailand, later had prosthetic legs fitted in Bangkok, and is now able to walk short distances. But when she returned to Singapore for the trial last October, she was in a wheelchair.

Nitcharee who is attending school in Bangkok, will not be in court on Monday, but she may return to Singapore for the verdict.