Family of woman killed by falling concrete fails to overturn court ruling The family of a woman killed seven years ago by a piece of concrete that fell from an illegal structure has failed to convince a court the building's owners should be held accountable. Sukey Liu Ngan-fong, 41, a hawker, died in August 1999 when she was struck by concrete from an unauthorised extension to the canopy of a balcony on the 11th floor of Kwok Wing Building, in Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok. Four years ago the administrators of her estate sued the owners of the flat, Tse Yiu-pui and Ho Lai-bing, the tenant, Chan Kwok-chi, and the Incorporated Owners of Kwok Wing Building. While the flat's owners did not contest the action, the tenant and the building's owners' corporation did. In 2004, Mr Justice Anthony To Kwai-fung found the tenant and the flat's owners had been negligent in not dealing with the potential nuisance the faulty canopy posed to passers-by. He ordered them to pay HK$1,554,742, plus interest and costs, to Liu's family. Mr Justice To dismissed the claim against the owners' corporation, reasoning it could not be held liable since the canopy was an illegal structure erected without its permission. 'I fail to see how the duty to inspect could have arisen when the managers then and the incorporated owners since ... were neither owners nor occupiers of the extended canopy and had no control over it,' the judge said at the time. Liu's administrators contested that finding, telling the Court of Appeal the incorporated owners must have known there was an illegal structure appended to the common areas of the building's exterior. Corrinne Remedios, for Liu, argued that the likelihood it would become dangerous if not properly maintained meant that, even if the incorporated owners weren't obligated to maintain the canopy, it was within their powers to require its removal. But Mr Justice Frank Stock, on behalf of the appeal court, agreed with the Court of First Instance's finding that liability was determined by the extent of control each defendant had over the illegal structure. He acknowledged Miss Remedios' argument had a 'certain force'. 'There is a theoretical attraction to the argument, the more so in cases of structures that overhang a public street, but its application would ... have harsh and unreasonable pragmatic consequences,' Mr Justice Stock said. Mr Justice Azizul Suffiad and Madam Justice Maria Yuen Ka-ning, sitting with Mr Justice Stock, agreed. Madam Justice Yuen said: 'To hold the incorporated owners liable would be to make it the insurer of every person who may be injured as a result of an individual owner's failure to maintain parts of a building which that owner, and he alone, enjoys, knows about and controls.' The appeal was dismissed.