Thursday, January 31, 2008

Big Fish small fish

In the straitstimes today, "A Carpark operator sued a Mr Tan for $600 for damaging it's wheel clamp. He allegedly drove off in his car with the clamp still attached.
Case was brought before a mediation judge and Mr Tan agreed to pay Operator $3,000. Deal fell through over payment procedures and his refusal to sign a press statement that the Operator had a right to clamp illegally parked cars.

Operator then went to district court and got a default judgement against Mr Tan for $5,000. An addition $2,000 in court cost. Mr Tan filed an appeal and judgement was set aside. Not satisfied, the operator pushed it's case through succesively higher courts finally the court of appeal. Two days before the hearing, the Operator sought to withdraw the case, but the session was held to decide on the costs it had to pay Mr Tan's lawyer for the work they had done. All in all A whopping $36,000 spent. Failure at the lowers courts set it back by $1,600 in cost, in addition to some $30,000 in legal fees for court hearings spanning three years. With the $5,000 in costs included, the Operator would have spent some $36,000 to get the $3,000 due from Mr Tan."

Judge of Appeal, in writing on the court's behalf , said the Operator had already used up two chances to apply for leave to appeal under the law, so lawyers Needed to think seriouly about 'adverse consequences ' before advising their clients to take the route to the Appeal Courts.

Question: Who stand to gain most in pursuing the case?

1 comment:

stay-at-home mum said...

Yes, sometimes I dont understand why they go thru all these just to recover a small sum. At the end of the day, its the lawyers that are laughing all the way to the bank. Guess I made the wrong decision when I was young and should have joined my brother when he decided to do law!!