Crash victim seeks $6.7m for loss of future earnings

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He argues he would have become a pilot if not for head injury in accident

An Australian national who had severe head trauma following a traffic accident in Orchard Road is seeking $6.7 million for loss of future earnings.

It is based on the unusual claim that he would have gone on to be a commercial pilot had it not been for his injuries.

Mr Jay Mitchell Smith, 31, argued that he had a 100 per cent chance of following the footsteps of his father and brother, who were pilots with Tiger Airways, which has now merged with Scoot.

He was on holiday in Singapore on Aug 5, 2011, when he was hit by a car as he was crossing the road opposite the Hilton Hotel. After being rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital with head injuries, he underwent surgery in which part of his skull was removed.

Mr Smith sued the driver, Mr Abdul Rahim Mohd Akhbar, and the car owner, Resorts World Sentosa, who accepted 70 per cent liability on July 15, 2016, with the sum payable to be assessed.

Most of the items to his claim such as pain and suffering, medical expenses and pre-trial loss of earnings have been settled at mediation and Mr Smith has received $231,841 so far.

But both parties were deadlocked on the sum payable for loss of future earnings and earning capacity.

In the High Court hearings, which began on Tuesday, to resolve the impasse, Mr Smith's lawyer said the most painful consequence of the accident was the lost chance to be an airline pilot as well as his fallback job as a landscaper.

She argued his claim was neither fanciful nor inflated, given that he had grown up aiming to be a pilot like his father, now an authorised flight examiner with Scoot Tigerair, and his younger brother, now a junior first officer with the same airline.

Based on what he would have earned in the future at 100 per cent liability, Mr Smith sought $6.629 million plus $100,000 for loss of earning capacity, the disadvantage he would suffer in the labour market.

Lawyers for the defendants countered that a son does not always follow the father and noted that Mr Smith's passion for landscaping was far more evident than for flying.

The High Court hearing continues tomorrow.