Court rules school not liable for affair | The New Paper

Court rules school not liable for affair

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Husband of student who had affair with lecturer had sued him and school for breach of duty of care

The High Court struck out a suit by a distressed husband who sought to hold a school and one of its lecturers liable for an affair his wife had with the teacher.

Assistant Registrar Jean Chan dismissed the suit yesterday by Mr Bae Jun-ho, having found no reasonable cause of action. The court, in issuing oral grounds for its decision to the parties in chambers, also ordered Mr Bae to pay costs.

Mr Bae, 32, had sought damages for mental distress and the cost of medical treatment in a test case asking if he, the aggrieved party, can claim that the school and lecturer owed him a duty of care.

Also at issue is whether he could sue for breaches in a contract that was inked between his wife and the school, which he was not a party to.

The key matter was that the relationship involved two consenting adults in a student-teacher relationship - his wife Kang Eun-jeong, 28, and her English lecturer, Mr Samuel Daimwood, 35.

Lawyers for the lecturer and the school had applied to strike off the case as an abuse of process, among other things, and hearings on the merits were held over the last two months.

Mr Daimwood, an American, had argued that the affair was consensual. His lawyers Mark Yeo, Shaun Marc Lew and Charmaine Lim said Mr Bae's suit was "framed as a breach of some form of duty of care when, in effect, it was a disguised claim for damages for adultery".

Mr Bae and his wife, both South Koreans, were married in January 2017 and moved to Singapore five months later - he on an employment pass, and she on a dependant's pass.

In January last year, she enrolled in an English preparatory course but, by March, her behaviour towards her husband had changed and she started returning home late, according to court papers.

Mr Bae placed a surveillance camera in his home and said he was extremely shocked and stricken when he saw Mr Daimwood entering his home on the day he left for Bangkok on a business trip. Mr Daimwood, who was co-teacher of the upper intermediate English class Ms Kang had attended, agreed the encounters occurred at the couple's home. He said the first time he went there was at the wife's invitation to watch a Korean movie and try Korean food.

Mr Bae, in papers filed by lawyer Anil Narain Balchandani, had alleged that the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) breached its duty of care.

But the school had countered that any anxieties Mr Bae suffered were the result of the extramarital affair and had nothing to do with the school.

LSBF Global's chief executive officer Rathakrishnan Govind, when contacted yesterday, said: "I am happy with the court's ruling to strike out (the suit). This goes to affirm my original comment that the school has no control over what happens outside of school premises between consenting adults."

Mr Daimwood's services were terminated by the school because of the incident.