Thai teen's $3.4m suit to reveal what happened on MRT tracks

A director of the Tawandang restaurant, Mr Wanchai Ruengkitpinyo, presenting Nitcharee with gifts during her birthday party on Thursday.

SINGAPORE - THE family of Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, the Thai teenage girl who lost both her legs after an accident at Ang Mo Kio MRT station in April, is suing SMRT for $3.4 million.

The Straits Times reported that the writ was filed in the High Court here and was served to SMRT yesterday. The transport operator has confirmed that, and said that its lawyers were handling the matter.

The suit comes after the teen's family rejected SMRT's offer of $5,000 in compensation. The girl's father, Mr Kittanesh Peneakchanasak, 56, said that the sum was "unacceptable".

The teenager's lawyer, Cosmas Gomez, said that $3.4 million would pay for the prosthetic limbs she'll need for the rest of her life.

The lawsuit is also expected to reveal exactly how Nitcharee landed on the tracks. Mr Peneakchanasak said that his daughter told him she was fully conscious when it happened and that she did not faint.

The 15-year-old girl from Trang, Thailand, came to Singapore to study English during her vacation. She fell onto the track at Ang Mo Kio MRT station just as the train had arrived. Her legs could not be saved as the bones were crushed and muscles damaged.

According to local medical experts, each pair would cost at least $150,000, and $3 million would pay for up to 20 pairs over the course of her life. A new pair of custom-made prosthetic legs will be needed every three to five year, depending on how fast she grow and on the rate of wear and tear.

A spokesman for Sirindhorn Centre in Bangkok, where the girl is now recuperating and being prepared for her first pair of prosthetic legs, said that each pair will cost about $200,000 in Bangkok.

Mr Peneakchanasak added that the family is asking for an amount that is "just enough" to cover the teenager's medical expenses for the rest of her life.

They have received more than $400,000 in donations so far, but this amount is far from enough for Nitcharee's bills.

vtay@sph.com.sg


COMMENTS