Cyclist suffers from brain injuries after accident, receives record S$13.6m payout

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Singapore – A Swiss national was compensated over S$13.6 million in damages for suffering traumatic brain injuries after a car collided with his bicycle along Bukit Batok in 2014.

Mr Christian Joachim Pollmann, 45, was the executive director of Swiss bank Julius Baer when he met with a serious accident that led to severe speech impairment and brain injuries.

According to The Straits Times, it is believed that Mr Pollman, who is currently dependent on a live-in caregiver, will probably never work again.

He was cycling along Brickland Road in Bukit Batok on Nov 19, 2014, at 8 pm, when a car driven by Ye Xianrong crashed into him from behind.

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A High Court judgement on Oct 2017 stated that Ye was checking his blind spot for traffic before filtering into another lane. However, he failed to check if the coast was clear up ahead.

Ye jammed his brakes when he spotted Mr Pollmann ahead but was too late.

As a result, Mr Pollman was thrown off his bicycle, suffered severe head injuries and spent six months in hospital, noted ST.

Ye pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt by a negligent act that endangers human life. In 2016, he was banned from driving for three years and fined S$5,000.

In 2017, the High Court deemed Ye to be fully liable for Mr Pollmann’s injuries in a negligence suit.

On Apr 26, Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy awarded more than S$9.3 million to Pollmann for the loss of future income.

Another S$1.5 million was awarded for pre-trial loss of earnings. Justice Vinodh noted that Mr Pollmann would have been promoted to managing director senior adviser in 2020 if he had not met with the accident.

It was estimated that Mr Pollmann, receiving an average bonus of 35 per cent a year, would have earned around $658,000 annually for the next 14 years, reported ST.

Another S$1 million and S$694,422 were awarded for the recurring future medical expenses that included botox and psychotherapy and medical expenses including plastic surgery procedures and physiotherapy sessions, respectively.

Mr Pollman was also awarded S$643,040.05 for special damages, including medical expenses incurred in Switzerland and professional nursing costs.

Furthermore, S$300,000 was provided for his pain and suffering while his wife was awarded S$59,000 in pre-trial loss of earnings.

The total amount, S$13,660,183.05, is reported to be the record sum for personal injury claims.

The amount will be paid by Ye’s insurers. To date, interim payments amounting to S$3.1 million have been paid.

Lawyers on both sides provided no comments as further study on the judgement must be made, reported ST./TISG

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