JTC to get less than 5% of awarded damages

Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) had won an appeal in a civil suit brought against it by a former sub-contractor and was awarded $8.1 million in damages. But in the latest twist to the four-year legal wrangle between JTC and sub-contractor Wishing Star, JTC will receive only $339,823.

The saga began in Nov 2003 when Hong Kong-based Wishing Star cried foul over the way JTC terminated its services after it was awarded a $54-million contract to build the glass walls of the 185,000-sq-m Biopolis. JTC argued that Wishing Star had made fraudulent misrepresentations in its tender to win the contract.

In the event, Justice Choo Han Teck ruled in favour of the sub-contractor, prompting JTC to launch an appeal in Dec 2004. In May 2005, JTC won its appeal and subsequently claimed losses of more than $8.1 million.

The bulk of the sum was accounted for by the $7.81 million difference between the value of Wishing Star’s contract and that of Bovis Lend Lease – the sub-contractor that JTC engaged after a second round of tenders.

Other costs arose from expenses JTC had incurred from travelling to Dongguan, China to inspect Wishing Star’s facilities, and fees for consultancy and surveying services.

Wishing Star countered with its own appeal. Its lawyers, led by Mr Tan Liam Beng, argued that the sum of $7.81 million JTC incurred was not a direct consequence of Wishing Star’s misrepresentations.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal ruled that JTC had failed to give sufficient proof or evidence of this loss. It also ruled that JTC has to pay three-quarters of the costs incurred in the Appeal Court and High Court.

Source : Weekend Today – 12 Apr 2008

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