Victim of toy mishap awarded HK$8m

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2012, 12:00am
 

A man who suffered brain damage and became wheelchair bound after he was hit by a model aircraft four years ago was awarded more than HK$8 million in compensation yesterday.

Lo Kwok-wah, 49, won his civil claim against Chan Man-kin, 43, in the Court of First Instance yesterday. Chan was not in court.

Lo was in a coma for several months in 2008 after Chan, a model aircraft enthusiast, lost control of his radio-controlled helicopter, which struck Lo's head. The incident occurred at Tseung Kwan O Town lot No 39, a popular spot for model- aircraft enthusiasts.

In 2009 in Kwun Tong Court, Chan, a 43-year-old baker, was fined HK$5,000 for recklessly or negligently causing an aircraft to endanger a person or property.

He said he was still suffering from the haunting experience. 'Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I feel scared. I ask myself: 'Why am I left in such a poor situation?''

It is not certain Lo will be able to secure the HK$8 million from Chan, who has been out of contact for years. Willy Lim, lawyer for Lo, said Chan failed to respond to them and had never acknowledged receipt of court documents related to the case.

Lim said that if Chan could not be found, they would file a bankruptcy petition against him as a creditor.

In the incident, Lo was standing nearby watching Chan operate his remote-controlled helicopter in the lot. He became alarmed at how dangerously Chan was flying the aircraft and told him to be more careful.

Suddenly, Chan lost control of his helicopter, which hit Lo in the head, knocking him unconscious. Lo underwent an operation and was in a coma for several months.

The accident had crushed the front of Lo's skull, causing severe right-brain damage that left him saddled with speech difficulties and cost him the mobility of his left arm and his left leg.

Lo, testifying in court yesterday, said he suffered from loss of memory, regular spasms and cramps.

'A doctor told me that I would die if left unattended for 10 to 20 minutes when a spasm struck,' Lo said.

He lost his job at a bus company earning some HK$24,900 a month.

He said he relied on his wife and his domestic helper to feed, shower and care for him.

$5,000

The amount, in Hong Kong dollars, that Chan Man-kin was fined in 2009 for recklessness over the injury caused by his model helicopter

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