Characterist LLC’s Dominic Chan, Johnston Lee and Daniel Ng acted for the Plaintiffs and successfully established liability against the Defendant driver who suffered a stroke before colliding into the Plaintiffs when they were standing at the pavement beside the Geylang Lorong 9 frog leg porridge shop.
The Court adopted a 2015 English Court of Appeal’s objective test requiring “total loss of control”. In this regard, the Plaintiffs’ lawyers urged the Court against using the subjective test, citing various public policy reasons why the objective test is preferred. The Court was convinced by such policy reasons.
Applying the test to the facts, the Court held that “[t]he medical and non-medical evidence points to the conclusion that the haemorrhage/stroke did not cause the defendant to wholly lose control or entirely eliminate the defendant’s responsibility at the time of the (accident)…”.
This is the first Singapore decision on the applicable legal standard to establish a defence of automatism under tort law.
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