YU TIM SHEUNG v. SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE (FOR AND ON BEHALF OF DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT HYGIENE DEPARTMENT)

HCPI395/2006

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

PERSONAL INJURIES ACTION NO. 395 OF 2006

BETWEEN

YU TIM SHEUNG Plaintiff
and
SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE
(for and on behalf of
DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT
HYGIENE DEPARTMENT)
Defendant

Coram: Deputy High Court Judge Carlson in Chambers (Open to the public)

Date of Hearing: 3 June 2008

Date of Decision: 3 June 2008

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R U L I N G

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1. It is not in every case where a party has been held to have lied and to have done so in a very deliberate and calculating way thatthe successful party will be entitled to an order for costs, with taxation, on an indemnity basis.

2. The jurisdiction that I am being asked to exercise is a very broad one – the discretion is commensurately broad – but it seems tome that in this case where the Plaintiff has lied and has really, as I had found, orchestrated a lot of this himself after he wastaken to hospital, that he was able to bring on board other members of the Defendant’s staff who assisted in all of this and itstrikes me that, as Mr Lim has set it out in his written skeleton, the Plaintiff knew very well what the truth was but he came heredeliberately to try and obtain a result which would have found his employer guilty of negligence when that was never the case.

3. Fortunately, truth has prevailed and, in these circumstances, I think it is only right that I should reflect that with an orderfor costs, to be taxed, on an indemnity basis.

4. May I say that not only did he lie on the question of whether there had been negligence but he also followed that through in a rathercalculating way so far as trying to bump up, if I can express it in that way, any damages that would have been payable to him. Fortunately,he was caught out on those lies as well by truthful witnesses who came forward and gave their evidence quite properly.

5. So that is the order, and I think Mr Lim quite rightly accepts that although he ought to have the costs of today’s application,these costs should only be taxed on a party and party basis, Mr Lee, who appears for the Plaintiff on this occasion, having put hiscase very moderately and persuasively.

Ian Carlson
Deputy High Court Judge

Simon Lee Po-wing, of Messrs Paul Kwong & Co., for the Plaintiff

Patrick D Lim, instructed by the Department of Justice, for the Defendant