Stage-fall singer sues department

Canto-pop singer George Lam Chi-cheung is suing the Leisure and Cultural Services Department for negligence over injuries he suffered in a fall from a stage during a concert three years ago.

A writ, filed yesterday in the High Court, named as a respondent the Secretary for Justice on behalf of the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services.

Lam was engaged by Yiu Wing Entertainment Company to perform a show on May 30, 2003, at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hunghom, which is managed by the department.

In the writ, Lam claims the accident was caused by the 'negligence ... breach of statutory duty and or common duty of care' of the department. He is claiming unspecified compensation for personal injuries, interest and costs.

Lam was a guest singer at a concert by singer-actress Lisa Wang Ming-chuen.

The audience was shocked when Lam disappeared into a two-metre-wide hole in the middle of a song. A stage elevator which raises performers into view apparently was lowered, creating the hole.

Lam was taken to the private St Teresa's Hospital in Kowloon City by ambulance and was reported to be in a semi-conscious state.

The accident occurred shortly after 9pm. After Lam plunged from sight, the music stopped and there was a commotion in the audience.

However, Wang, apparently unaware of the problem, walked on stage with a microphone to start singing and the music resumed.

Lam, also a songwriter and lyricist, was one of Hong Kong's most popular singers and actors in the late 1970s and early 1980s.