IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
PERSONAL INJURIES ACTION NO. 29 OF 2002
Coram: H H Judge Carlson in Chambers
Date of Hearing: 24 May 2002
Date of Ruling: 24 May 2002
R U L I N G
1. The issue that calls for decision by me today on this checklist review hearing is a request for further and better particulars ofthe 2nd defendant’s defence which is made by the plaintiff.
2. The case itself is a simple one. The allegation is that the plaintiff, who is a 75 year old lady, was walking outside a restaurantat Sha Tin when the 1st defendant, who is an employee of the 2nd defendant, was pushing a trolley which was carrying a load and thathe collided with the plaintiff and knocked her to the ground. As a result she suffered a fractured hip and so she is claiming damagesfor personal injury, pain and suffering and so forth.
3. The 1st defendant has not entered a defence. He had applied for Legal Aid. Legal Aid was refused on two occasions. The last refusalwas in March. He should have filed a defence and so I have earlier today entered judgment against him in default of defence withdamages to be assessed.
4. The 2nd defendant has filed a defence to the statement of claim denying liability. There is an admission in paragraph 3 of the defencethat the plaintiff fell to the ground after she came into contact with the trolley that was being pushed by the 1st defendant.
5. Paragraph 5 has the usual alternative case advanced to the effect that the accident was wholly caused or contributed to by the negligenceof the plaintiff herself, and a number of particulars of negligence are pleaded.
6. Now as a result of that pleading, I have before me a request for further and better particulars. May I say that it is not a requestwhich one can greatly recommend. I am going to refuse it. It is a request for evidence at best. Much of it, such as the requirementthat colour photographs and sketches be provided, are all matters that can be dealt with by the parties by way of discovery and inthe general preparation of the case. Most of the other matters are at best dealt with by interrogatories but I am not suggestingor encouraging such an application to be made. And, in any event, these are matters that are all going to be dealt with in the witnessstatements which the parties are going to have to exchange.
7. So there is nothing in this request which should be ordered. The matter, in my judgment, has been sufficiently pleaded and, accordingly,the request will be dismissed.
8. I will then make orders as they appear in the plaintiff’s checklist review with the following amendments: Subparagraph 2 of paragraph11 will be 21 days. Paragraph 3 will be struck out because I have refused to order further and better particulars. Paragraph 4, 21days. Paragraph 7, 91 days, that is 13 weeks precisely. And so far as the costs of today, Mr Law has suggested costs in the causeand I think that is a proper order to make.
(Discussion re costs)
9. I take the view that on the issue of the request for further and better particulars, I am so clearly of the view that the request,with great respect to Mr Ng, was misconceived, should not have been dealt with in this way at all, that the 2nd defendant must havehis costs of and occasioned by this request in any event.
10. Paragraph 1, judgment against the 1st defendant, obviously costs of the action up to and including today will be to the plaintiff,in any event. The costs of the checklist review, save for the issue as to the request for further and better particulars, will becosts in the cause with Legal Aid taxation of the plaintiff’s costs.
Mr Kevin Ng of Kevin Ng & Co., assigned by the Legal Aid Department, for the Plaintiff
D1 in person, absent
Mr Law Sai-man of C P Tsang & Co., for D2