A bedridden former construction worker in an alleged negligence case testified in the Singapore High Court via Zoom from his home in Bangladesh, demonstrating the breadth of online proceedings.
Janaed, 44, who was suing his former employers and two others, was left quadriplegic in November 2018 after dropping 3 meters while working at Westgate Tower in Jurong of Singapore, reports The Straits Times.
The court in order to aid Janaed, allowed the man's brother to be in the room with him during his testimony as he helped him in referring to bundles of documents.
Janaed testified for up to 30 minutes at a time, with at least 15-minute breaks in between. N Srinivasan and Phoebe Wong of Hoh Law Corporation are representing Janaed.
He's suing four parties for alleged negligence and other breaches of duty: his formal employer, Newtec Engineering; STA Rita Engineering, which hired him for work at Westgate Tower; Zoe International, which subcontracted part or all of its work to STA Rita Engineering; and the building's management company.
Janaed, who had a Bengali interpreter, testified and was cross-examined in court via Zoom over two days last month and on 2 March.
The other three defendants are contesting the charges, while Newtec declined to appear at the trials.
Srinivasan said: "At times, his heartbeat and blood pressure would rise and his hands and legs would curl up involuntarily."
Janaed's brother would then alert the court, which would adjourn until he was able to resume.
Hearings for the trial to determine liability ended on 5 March.
Further submissions to the court are expected, and after the judge decides if there is liability and in what portion, if any, the case will then proceed to the second stage, which is to assess the quantum payable.
Janaed spent 91 days in National University Hospital and 152 days in Alexandra Hospital after his accident. His medical bills came up to $296,000, which Newtec defaulted on paying.
Both hospitals sued him as well as Newtec for the money, but the National University Health Services Group, which runs both hospitals, said last year it will not seek repayment from Mr Janaed.