SINGAPORE : The new National Kidney Foundation (NKF) management is seeking more than S$12 million in damages in a civil suit against its former chief, three former directors, and a business associate.
Lawyers explain that several unquantifiable claims, upon assessment before the courts, could tip the scales beyond S$12 million.
All the claims were detailed in an 85-page statement to the High Court on April 24, and NKF lawyers Allen & Gledhill say unquantifiable ones make up a substantial portion of it.
The new NKF claims it suffered losses not only through improper payments, but also in its credibility, resulting in a drop in donations and support from volunteers and agencies.
The charity alleges that the loss of its reputation and goodwill in the eyes of the public has resulted in a drop in donations from existing donors as well as those who had cancelled regular donations.
Projects such as the charity shows were also affected and there has been a drop in the number of volunteers and support from medical, government agencies, and corporations, both within Singapore and abroad.
It was therefore seeking compensation for breach of duty from the five defendants, TT Durai [pictured above], Richard Yong, Matilda Chua, Loo Say San, and Pharis Aboobacker.
Said defence lawyer K Shanmugam, "Part of it is quantified; part of it is unquantified. Some parts of it, NKF has put a dollar claim -- what is the claim amount -- and some part of it is a matter for the court to make an assessment after hearing evidence as to how much is the damages."
The quantifiable claims alone amount to:
- S$2.1 million in salaries, bonuses and other benefits "improperly" paid to Durai;
- S$4.08 million for loss of donations in the form of Lifedrops income;
- Over S$556,000 in legal costs incurred when Durai and the old NKF brought a defamation suit against Singapore Press Holdings;
- And S$5.28 million paid to three companies linked to Pharis Aboobacker.
Mr Pharis, a friend of Durai, is in India, where relevant authorities are in the process of serving him the writ of summons.
He is the last of the five defendants to be told he is being sued by the new NKF.
Durai has been given additional two weeks, till May 31, to file his defence.
Richard Yong and Loo Say San filed their defence last Friday, while Matilda Chua is expected to do it at the start of the week.
Failure to file by the stipulated time would allow lawyers for the new NKF to apply for judgment against the relevant defendants.
Channel NewsAsia understands the trial is expected to begin in six to nine months.
Meantime, the criminal cases against Durai, Yong, Chua, Loo, and former NKF staff Ragini Vijayalingam will be mentioned again on June 19 at the Subordinate Courts.
At the pre-trial conference on Monday, the defence asked the prosecution for more documents pertaining to the charges.