Losing Your Legs is Unfortunate Enough, Don’t Lose Your Self-Respect (The Nitcharee Peneakchanasak vs SMRT / LTA case)

Initially, I’d felt very sorry when reading the news about this Thai teenager, Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, who lost both her legs after falling onto train tracks at Ang Mo Kio station in April 2011. Singaporeans then donated more than S$400,000 to help pay for her medical bills. SMRT also offered S$15,000 in financial assistance. Nitcharee’s family, however, decided to sue SMRT and LTA for negligence, and for S$3.4million in damages. I was rather taken aback.

There was then the question of “Did she faint or was she pushed?”

Nitcharee was inconsistent, initially claiming that she was pushed onto the tracks, then later admitted that she had lost her balance, but had not fainted. The judge and expert witnesses viewed CCTV footage, which showed she had lost consciousness, which led to her fall. Having lost the lawsuit, Nitcharee now has to bear the costs of the trial.

I wish she hadn’t taken the step of suing SMRT and LTA. Now part of the donations received will have to be used for paying lawyers and all. At the start, it was also unlikely that she could have won the lawsuit with a lie easily exposed by CCTV footage.

I agree with this hardwarezone forum member‘s words:

hardwarezone commenter

I admired the courage of the girl who could smile for journalists who visited her in the hospital after the tragic accident. (She has even written a book about the ordeal!)

I hope her father, an insurance agent, has secured enough insurance coverage for his daughter.

I believe an appeal against the outcome of this trial will make no difference, so hopefully, Nitcharee and her family will decide to move on.

FB Discussion with my pal, Samy:

nitcharee vs smrt

nitcharee vs smrt

Update 02/10/2014: Nitcharee has lost the appeal for her claim of $3.4million. SMRT and LTA are not pursuing legal costs from her out of compassion. Guess what she reportedly told The Straits Times last night? “I wish I could get the $50,000 in compensation that I had earlier rejected.” (That was offered to her after she lost the lawsuit in July. She rejected it and went ahead with the appeal. Having lost the appeal, she wants the 50K now. Seriously?!)

She needs to grow some backbone, and grow up.