How many of us are actually aware that we are constantly told that whatever bad that happens, it’s none of others’ business? This is especially evident whenever we are making use of facilities made available for the public and it comes in the form of standard disclaimers that we see everyday – in buildings, in playgrounds, in carparks… and a whole lot of other places. While it’s quite understandable for them to have such a disclaimer – least they be sued for every single thing, what happens when the fault is on the part of the organization?

I am not sure if the disclaimer actually covers every single thing, but what happens when the fault is clearly on the end of the organization’s? Such as leaking pipes, electric shocks, or leaking roofs that results in some personal damage? Is this still covered by the disclaimer? I had always thought that the disclaimers only covers acts done by someone else, but apparently, CAAS decided that they day they built their carparks, they decided that it’s none of their business even if a pipe falls onto you car.

Of course, in the letter from a reader to the Straits Times, it’s just a leaking pipe that destroys paintwork.

Car paintwork spoilt by pipe leaks at T3 but…

I PARKED my vehicle overnight at Changi Airport Terminal 3 carpark B in mid-January. When I checked my car, I was surprised to find that the pipes above my car had leaked an unknown substance onto it, damaging the car’s paintwork.

The terminal manager on duty confirmed the damage to the paintwork and took pictures when he investigated my complaint. He advised me to file a report with Wilson Parking, which was the carpark provider for T3. I sent my car to a workshop, had it resprayed and filed a police report.

I called the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to find out about my claim. Months later, I received a reply, telling me that the authority was not responsible because I did not have an IDAC report on the damage done to the car, did not source for the cheapest workshop to respray my car and that the signs in the carpark had clearly stated that owners parked their cars at their own risk. I am dismayed by the reply. I do not understand why I had to source for the cheapest workshop to respray my car. The fault wasn’t mine. All I wanted was to be reimbursed for respraying my car. I did not claim for loss of use despite the fact that my car spent a week in the workshop.

Neither do I understand why the CAAS justified its reply by saying that there were signs telling owners that they were liable for the risk of parking the cars in a CAAS carpark. The leak from the pipe was not my doing but was the result of CAAS’ negligence. Furthermore, the intent of the sign warning owners that they park at their own risk is meant to address criminal cases such as car thefts, break-ins and vandalism.

Gabriel Lin

Article obtained from on 8th March 2008

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