SINGAPORE – A Swiss citizen who sustained traumatic brain injury following a car accident received over $ 13.6 million in damages from the High Court.
It is believed to be a record high for personal injury.
The 45-year-old Christian Joachim Pollmann, managing director of the Swiss bank Julius Baer, was injured so badly that his language is now severely impaired, he depends on a carer and will probably never work again.
At 8:00 p.m. on November 19, 2014, Mr. Pollmann, who is married with two children, was driving down Brickland Road in Bukit Batok when Ye Xianrong’s car crashed into him from behind.
Ye, 36, checked his blind spot for traffic before switching to a different lane, according to an October 2017 ruling by the High Court. Since he could not look ahead, he came too close to the cyclist. He put the brakes on when he saw they were about to collide, but it was too late.
Mr. Pollmann was thrown from his bicycle and suffered severe head injuries. He spent six months in the hospital.
In 2016, Ye pleaded guilty to causing serious harm to Mr. Pollmann through a negligent act that endangers people’s lives. He was fined $ 5,000 and banned from driving for three years.
A year later, the High Court ruled that Ye was fully liable for Mr. Pollmann’s injuries in a negligence proceeding. Of the damages Judge Vinodh Coomaraswamy awarded Mr. Pollmann last Monday, the biggest slice of the pie was the loss of more than $ 9.3 million in future revenue.
Pollmann’s neurosurgeon told the judge that due to his disability he could not do more than one task or person at the same time and that even manual work was difficult because he could not remember all of the instructions.
Judge Vinodh believed that if the accident had not happened, Mr. Pollmann, who lives in Singapore, would have been promoted to Senior Adviser to the Managing Director last year.
Judge Vinodh estimated that with an average bonus of 35 percent per year, Mr. Pollmann would have made approximately $ 658,000 annually for the next 14 years.
Additional damages awarded to Mr. Pollmann included future recurring medical expenses of approximately $ 1.09 million and loss of pre-litigation income of approximately $ 1.54 million.
Mr Pollmann needs botox treatment twice a year to treat a nerve injury on his face that causes his right eye to involuntarily close when he smiles or bites. He will also undergo three facial reconstruction surgeries – tissue transfer, fat graft, and face lift – to correct facial asymmetry.
He has a caregiver who supports him in everyday tasks due to his cognitive damage.
Judge Vinodh did not reimburse Mr. Pollmann for the cost of speech therapy, determining that given the severity of his speech impairment, it was likely to be ineffective.
For the first four years after the accident, Mr. Pollmann’s 44-year-old wife quit her job and paid $ 9,600 a month to look after him. Your children are eight and ten years old.
She returned to work on a reduced salary in 2018.
The judge allowed recovery from his wife’s pre-trial loss of earnings, which was capped at $ 1,000 per month, given the combined pressures on the household to deal with the plaintiff’s injuries and with young children.
The damage is borne by Ye’s insurers. You have made interim payments totaling USD 3.1 million to Mr. Pollmann to date.
Lawyers on both sides told the Sunday Times that they have no comments at the time as they are studying the verdict.
Loss of future income
Loss of earnings before the trial
Recurring future medical issues including botox and psychotherapy
One-time future medical expenses including plastic surgery and physical therapy
Special damage including medical costs incurred in Switzerland and costs for professional care
Pain and suffering
Ms. Pollmann’s pre-trial loss of earnings
Total: $ 13,660,183.05