Myanmar national Maung Maung Aung Soe Thu, 42, was injured after the front wheel of his bicycle got caught in a drain grating along Changi Point Coastal Walk. The accident happened on 16 Jan last year, and Maung suffered head and spine injuries, as well as facial fractures. Initially, he was seeking at least $578,000 in damages in a negligence suit against PUB.
A three-day hearing was supposed to happen in the High Court on Tuesday (6 Sep). However, after one day of trial, Maung accepted a settlement offer that had been made by PUB. Terms of the settlement were not revealed, and the agency also did not admit any liability.
Yet, the gratings along the road were replaced after Maung’s accident.
PUB tried to deny that it was negligent and argued that it did not owe him such a duty of care. They also say that it is not factually foreseeable that a failure to inspect, maintain or replace the gratings would have resulted in the harm he suffered.
Yet after his accident, drain gratings along Changi Point Coastal Walk were replaced. The gratings were obviously a plausible cause of his accident. Otherwise, why would they bother changing it if they were so sure they are not at fault?
Are they trying to avoid setting the precedence of public agencies getting sued?
By going for a settlement, the public will never know whether we can go to trial when we feel like a public agency fails to deliver their promises.
Maung now has a limp and uses a walking stick. Just as what Bertha Henson said, Singaporeans are none the wiser, and we are left with many questions.