Appeal bid by woman sued for libel falls through, doc awarded costs

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Serene Tiong, who was sued by a surgeon for libel after she made allegations about him and another doctor, has had her application for leave to appeal a High Court decision dismissed.

Costs of the application, amounting to $3,000, have been awarded to HC Surgical Specialists (HCSS) surgeon Julian Ong, the Catalist-listed firm said in a bourse filing on Thursday night (Oct 15).

Ms Tiong was seeking to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the Oct 2 decision of the High Court in Dr Ong’s defamation suit against her.

The surgeon had sued Ms Tiong, who is separately also a minority shareholder of HCSS, for claiming that he and psychiatrist Chan Herng Nieng colluded to take sexual advantage of vulnerable women patients.

Although a district judge ruled in favour of Ms Tiong in April, Dr Ong went on to successfully appeal to the High Court.

The High Court overturned the lower court’s decision, finding that she had defamed him and ordering her to pay $40,000 in costs to the surgeon for court proceedings. It also granted the surgeon an injunction, restraining Ms Tiong from publishing, or causing to be published, defamatory words against him.

HCSS on Thursday said it will provide further updates on this matter if necessary and in compliance with listing rules.

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