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Ruling on residents' application for appeal on Tuesday
21/06/2004 The Sun

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will decide on Tuesday whether to grant leave to 73 Highland Towers condominium residents to cross-appeal the Court of Appeal's decision over the apportionment of liability to the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) in their negligence suit.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor, who sat with Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong and Court of Appeal judge Datuk Arifin Zakaria, fixed the date after hearing submissions from MPAJ's counsel, V.S Viswanathan, and counsel for the residents, Y. Ramachandran.

On Feb 7, the Federal Court granted MPAJ leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision over the council's liability in the negligence suit filed by the residents.

The Court of Appeal, on Dec 3, 2002, affirmed the High Court's apportionment of 15% liability against the council, engineer Wong Yuen Kean (10%), Arab Malaysian Finance Berhad (30%), MetroluxSdn Bhd and MBF Property Services Sdn Bhd (20%).

The same court allowed the council's appeal and set aside the High Court decision to apportion post-collapse liability to the coucil.

However, the Court of Appeal apportioned pre-collapse liability to the council after allowing the residents' cross-appeal against the High Court decision indemnifying MPAJ.

The High Court had also apportioned liability to other defendants named in the suit, namely developer Highland Properties Sdn Bhd (15%) and draughtsman Wong Ting Sing (10%), but they did not appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision.

The 73 former residents of Blocks 2 and 3 sued 10 parties for between RM31 million and RM35 million to repair two blocks which had to be evacuated after Block 1 of the Highland Towers condominium collapsed killing 48 people.

In his submission, Ramachandran had asked the court to grant leave to cross-appeal on four questions of law to be determined by the court.


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