Parents win Bt11 million compensation over daughter's death
The family of a student who died last September after falling from a No 207 public bus was Wednesday awarded more than Bt10 million compensation by the Civil Court.
Assumption University student Piyathida Chotemanas died after falling through the open door of the moving bus, hitting her head on the pavement on Ramkhamhaeng Road.
Her parents, Nam and Lakkana Chotemanas, filed a Bt12-million civil suit for damage caused by negligence against six defendants: driver Tawin Saengdet; bus service operator Thanasit Worachotehiransiri; bus owner Ruekchai Ruang-kittiyosying; the 207 Bus Co; bus route concessionaire Chao Krasaechon; and the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA).
The court Wednesday ruled that the accident was caused by the driver's failure to close the door and the fact the bus was unfit for public service.
It dismissed the defendants' claim that the family had already received Bt750,000 in compensation from an insurance company and could not sue for more damages. The court ruled Piyathida's parents could still sue for their lack of Suthida's future support.
The court dismissed the claim against the bus owner, but the remaining defendants were ordered to pay Bt256,211 in medical bills, Bt250,000 funeral expenses, and compensation of Bt10.747 million at 7.5 per cent interest per year until total payment has been made.
The compensation sum - to be paid at Bt46,000 per month for the next 20 years - was based on what Piyathida could have potentially earned over 20 years, her being an excellent international finance management student with strong skills in Japanese and English. Her family had planned to send her abroad to study.
The defendants did not say Wednesday whether they would appeal or not.
Outside the court, Piyathida's father said he was gratified the defendants had been ordered to pay because the ruling set a new standard of responsibility for bus operators and the BMTA.
"Today my daughter's life is not wasted ... at least her case has set a standard for society," said Nam.
He said the defendants had the right to appeal, but he would not enter into private negotiations with them over the sum awarded.