Data source
Date of text
17 Mar 2010
Seat of court
Original language


Type of text
National - higher court
Reference number
[2010] SGHC 85
Court name
High Court
Kan ting Chiu
compensation, liability, soil pollution, soil quality, water pollution, water quality

In this case, the defendant, a construction company, was accused of having accidentally polluted the land of the plaintiff during the construction of the plaintiff’s shelter for animals. During the construction, a study conducted by the National Environmental Agency collected and analysed the discharge and found out that the soil and the groundwater was contaminated with hydrocarbons and that the pollution was a threat for the Kranji Reservoir and for the environment. Two additional studies conducted by independent experts concluded that the pollution had taken place. The studies also suggested that the pollution did not result out of previous activities which took place on the land but was likely to be resulting from the use of backfill for the purpose of levelling the site.

As a result, the plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence in supervising the earthworks and in ensuring that the backfill material was suitable to be used as backfill. The High Court accepted the case and after studying the different elements provided by the two parties held that the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant was justified. As a result, the defendant was condemned.