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A Bangladeshi construction worker who got paralyzed after a work-site accident, was awarded about $600,000 in damages and costs by the High Court of Singapore yesterday. Mr Tarun Kumar Saha, 32, suffered spinal injuries after he was knocked down from behind by a reversing forklift on Feb 3, 2013, while working in the general renovation works at Grand Hyatt Hotel.

He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he had surgery to stabilize his fractured spine and right ankle. Mr Tarun also received psychiatric treatment at the hospital, underwent rehabilitation and and was discharged into a private nursing home some two months later.

Afterwords, Tarun sued his employer sub- contractor Choon Construction, and the main site contractor, Hup Yew Sen Construction, for negligence through Mr. Pritam Singh Gill, his Lawyer.

The defendants, whose lawyers were from United Legal Alliance, initially argued that Mr Tarun was partly, if not wholly, to blame. But in October last year, both contractors accepted 85 per cent liability, leaving the sums payable to be assessed by the Court.

After a two-day assessment hearing, which ended yesterday (June 17 2016), Judicial Commissioner Valerie Thean ordered that Mr Tarun be paid $323,700 for pain, suffering and loss of future earnings and $225,721 to meet medical expenses, contingencies and costs of appliances and materials for continued care.

The judge awarded another $50,000 in legal costs, accumulating nearly $600,000 as total compensation.

However, for Mr Tarun, the compensation was small comfort.

“Got money, but cannot do anything,” he told The Straits Times of Singapore.

Mr Tarun said when doctors first told him he was permanently paralyzed, he was devastated. He thought of suicide.

He said: “My parents became depressed when they saw me in a wheelchair. I was still depressed but kept it to myself. I pretended to give them confidence as I knew if I showed them that I was sad, they could go into deep depression and become sick.”

He left for Dhaka last night. “My village is not like Singapore. Not much a handicap can do or go to.”


Source – The Strait Times of Singapore