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High Court to decide which driver at fault American woman whose leg was severed seeking damages that are likely to hit $1m By K.C. Vijayan, Law Correspondent THE High Court will this week decide which of two drivers - or possibly both - is to blame for a freak accident that caused an American housewife to lose a leg. The two-day hearing starts tomorrow before Justice Lai Siu Chiu. It will pit car driver Rosli Salim against private school bus driver Toh Yoke Chin in the spat over liability for the 2007 accident. Both parties have already accepted in principle, at earlier hearings, that the victim - Mrs Erin Mullin, then 35 - was totally innocent. This means that either or both parties are 100 per cent liable and will have to pay damages expected to hit $1 million. After the allocation of liability is settled by the court, the case will be referred to an assistant registrar to assess the total amount of damages to be paid, in the proportions decided by the High Court judge. Mrs Mullin was in the carpark of the McDonald's restaurant in Queensway at about 7.45am on Sept 18, 2007 when the car driven by Mr Rosli knocked into her. Moments earlier, Mr Rosli, who was driving along Queensway in the direction of the Ayer Rajah Expressway, had turned left into the carpark. But to do so he had switched from an inner lane, overtaking the bus driven by Mr Toh in the process. The bus hit the rear of the car and the impact caused the vehicle to accelerate, ramming two parked cars before knocking down Mrs Mullin. Her right leg was severed and she suffered other serious injuries, according to court documents filed by her lawyer Ramasamy Chettiar. She was initially treated at the National University Hospital, where the leg was amputated, and then in Chicago, where she now lives. Her husband, Mr Jason Mullin, then 36, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder on seeing her in hospital after the accident. He was awarded $10,000 for his suffering by senior assistant registrar Cornie Ng earlier this month. The expatriate couple had arrived in Singapore a few months before the accident for him to take up a job here as a trader with a foreign bank. Police investigated the accident and in January 2009 Mr Rosli pleaded guilty in court to two charges of rash driving and causing grievous hurt. He was jailed for five months and disqualified from driving for four years. But in the current civil suit filed by the Mullins, Mr Rosli - in defence documents filed by his lawyer Niru Pillai - argues that the accident was caused or contributed to by the alleged negligence of Mr Toh, whose bus hit the rear of his car. Among other things, he argues that the bus hit the middle-rear section of his car, which showed that he was already in the left-most lane, ahead of it, at the time. He claimed Mr Toh did not regulate the speed of the bus properly to take into account the car that was in front. But Mr Toh denies any liability, arguing there was a break in the chain of causation between the first collision involving the two vehicles and the second collision between Mr Rosli's car and Mrs Mullin. In defence documents filed by his lawyers Desmond Tan and Chia Aileen, Mr Toh added that Mr Rosli was negligent in the control and management of his car, and this led to the accident. If he succeeds before the court, then 100 per cent blame will fall on Mr Rosli. Mrs Mullin is seeking damages which are expected to exceed $1 million, factoring in present and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering.
There were still seats available in the cafe, but a family apparently did not allow their maid to sit with them. Instead, she stood in a corner, said STOMPer benji. The STOMPer tells us more (Apr 16): "I spotted this family at Marina Square, in the cafe Bao Today. "They apparently asked the maid to stand at one side. "Maid abuse? "Initially I noticed a figure standing behind me after the family came in. "The family noticed that I took pictures of them, so they asked her to sit down. But she was still left at the corner. "I approached her to offer her a drink but she just shook her head. Tears were welling up in her eyes. "She said she was part of that family. "She looked like she was quite new. "The family finished their food and left, but their maid did not eat a single bite."