71YO Sues Town Council for $30,000 Due to Injuries Caused by Uncovered Ditch

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A 71-year-old-woman has sued the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council for at least $30,000 for negligence after she fell into a ditch.

Due to the incident, she suffered multiple injuries including a severely torn ligament, a fracture in her middle finger, and to her face and feet.

Here’s what happened.

How The Incident Occurred 

The incident occurred at around 8.30 am on 8 February 2021, near Block 276 Bangkit Road in Bukit Panjang.

The victim, Ms Chan Chui Yoke, was watering her flowers behind the HDB block. On the way home, she fell into the ditch and suffered injuries.

She is seeking claims of at least $30,000 to cover her medical bills and transportation costs.

The Case is Ongoing at the Court 

Ms Chan’s case was heard on 19 September 2022.

She believes that her injuries were due to the town council’s negligence as she felt that warning signs should have been placed to warn passers-by.

However, the town council denied that they were negligent and said that they wanted to facilitate cleaning to check for mosquito breeding, in accordance with National Environment Agency’s guidelines for mosquito breeding. They added that the drain covers were removed in 2001 when they took over the maintenance of the area.

Ms Chan argued that she had lived on the estate for 30 years and would have been aware of this situation. Sometimes, she would also care for the illegally-placed plants on the lawn and would have been aware if the ditch was uncovered.

Both parties seem to have their valid points but the judge will issue a ruling at a later date.

Similar Incidents in The Past

This is not the first case that someone is trying to sue a government agency for negligence.

A man sued PUB on 16 January 2022 after his bicycle got caught in a 3cm gap of a drain grating along Changi Point Coastal Walk.

The man was with his friend that day and said that there were dried leaves obstructing his view of the gap.

He fell off his bike and suffered head and spine injuries, as well as facial fractures. He then sought damages of at least $578,000.

He claimed that PUB owed him the duty of care and breached it by not ensuring that the drain gratings were safe.


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However, the man suddenly accepted PUB’s settlement offer that was made before the trial, and filed a notice of discontinuance within eight weeks to formally end the lawsuit.

It’s unknown how much the settlement is.

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Featured Image: Google Maps & Lianhe Zaobao


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