Kwok Hing Yuen v Goodpoint Engineering Ltd And Others

CourtDistrict Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date30 June 2004
Judgement NumberDCEC96/2002
Subject MatterEmployee"s Compensation Case
DCEC000096/2002 KWOK HING YUEN v. GOODPOINT ENGINEERING LTD AND OTHERS

DCEC000096/2002

DCEC96/2002

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION CASE NO. 96 OF 2002

BETWEEN
Kwok Hing-yuen Applicant
AND
Goodpoint Engineering Limited 1st Respondent
Wing Sum Construction Company Limited 2nd Respondent
Wing Sum Construction & Engineering Co. Limited 3rd Respondent
Otis Elevator Company (HK) Limited 4th Respondent
Fan Chau-sang 5th Respondent
Chan Cho-leung 6th Respondent

Coram: H H Judge Lok in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 30 June 2004

Date of Ruling: 30 June 2004

____________________

D E C I S I O N

____________________

1. There are two applications before me. The first one is the Applicant's application to re-re-amend the Application, and the second one is an application by the 4th Respondent for a determination on points of law under Order 14A of the Rules of the District Court. The 4 questions included in the second summons are as follows:

"1. On a proper interpretation of section 24 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, can there be more than one principal contractor liable to the employee of a sub-contractor?"

2. In the light of the answer to the question in paragraph 1 and given that:

(a) the 3rd Respondent was the main contractor for the works at KTIL 16, No. 410, Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon;

(b) the 3rd Respondent sub-contracted the lift and escalator installation works, wholly or in part, to the 4th Respondent;

(c) the 4th Respondent sub-contracted the lift and escalator installation works, wholly or in part, to the 1st Respondent;

(d) the 1st Respondent sub-contracted the lift and escalator installation work, wholly or in part, to the 5th and the 6th Respondents; and

(e) the 5th and 6th Respondents employed the Applicant to carry out the work sub-contracted to them,

which of the Respondents is/are the principal contractor(s) liable to the Applicant for the purposes of section 24 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance?

3. Can a sub-contractor who is neither the principal contractor nor the employer of the Applicant be liable to compensate the Applicant under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance?

4. If the answer to the question in paragraph 2 above is that the 4th Respondent is not the principal contractor liable to the Applicant and the answer to the question in paragraph 3 above is "No", an order that:

(a) the Applicant's action against the 4th Respondent be dismissed; and

(b) the Applicant do pay the 4th Respondent his costs of the action."

2. The present case arose out of an industrial accident on 21 August 2001. It is the Applicant's case, which has been confirmed by Mr Chiu for the Applicant, that the 3rd Respondent was the main contractor of the construction site at the relevant time. The 3rd Respondent sub-contracted the lift and escalator installation work to the 4th Respondent, who in turn sub-sub-contracted part of such work to the 1st Respondent, who in turn sub-sub-sub-contracted part of such work to the 5th and/or 6th Respondents, who was/were the direct employer(s) of the Applicant.

3. By the Order 14A application, the 4th Respondent...

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