Civil Law - Damages - Dependency claim - Definition of wife - Whether respondent was ‘wife’ of deceased under s 7(2) of Civil Law Act 1956 - Whether unregistered customary marriage defeats claim for dependency - Whether Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 relevant
Joremi bin Kimin & Anor v Tan Sai Hong  1 MLJ 268
The respondent, Joremi bin Kimin, was the second wife of the deceased, Tan Sai Hong. They were married under customary law, but their marriage was not registered. The deceased died in a road accident, and the respondent claimed damages for loss of dependency.
The issue in the case was whether the respondent was a "wife" for the purposes of section 7(2) of the Civil Law Act 1956, which provides that "a wife is entitled to claim damages for loss of dependency on the death of her husband".
The court held that the respondent was a "wife" for the purposes of section 7(2). The court held that the definition of "wife" in section 7(2) is not limited to registered marriages, and that customary marriages are also included. The court also held that the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, which provides for the registration of marriages, is not retrospective and does not affect the validity of customary marriages that were entered into before the Act came into force.
As a result of the court's decision, the respondent was awarded damages for loss of dependency.
Civil Law - Tort (Negligence) - Contribution between joint tortfeasors - Wife could not have sued husband when cause of action arose - Whether husband should not be made to bear 20% liability attributed to him - Whether defendant must file fresh suit against husband to recover liability attributed to husband
Murugasan a/l Kuppusamy & Anor v Chiew Eng Chai  4 MLJ 516
The plaintiffs, Murugasan a/l Kuppusamy and his wife, were injured in a road accident caused by the defendant, Chiew Eng Chai. The plaintiffs sued the defendant for damages.
The defendant admitted liability, but argued that the plaintiffs could not recover damages from him because he was the husband of the plaintiff's wife. The defendant argued that the plaintiffs could only recover damages from him if they sued him together with his wife, and that they could not do this because the cause of action arose before the plaintiffs were married.
The court held that the defendant was liable to the plaintiffs for damages. The court held that the plaintiffs could recover damages from the defendant even though they were not married to him at the time the cause of action arose. The court held that the plaintiffs could sue the defendant individually, and that they did not need to sue him together with his wife.
The court also held that the defendant was not entitled to contribution from his wife. The court held that the defendant was the sole tortfeasor, and that his wife was not liable for the plaintiffs' injuries.
As a result of the court's decision, the plaintiffs were awarded damages from the defendant.
Civil Law Act - Agency - Del credere agency - Law of England applicable - Civil Law Ordinance 1956, s 5(1)
JM Wotherspoon & Co Ltd v Henry Agency House  MLJ 86, High Court, Kuala Lumpur
The plaintiffs, JM Wotherspoon & Co Ltd, were a firm of merchants in England. The defendants, Henry Agency House, were a firm of agents in Malaya. The plaintiffs appointed the defendants as their del credere agents to sell their goods in Malaya.
The defendants sold the plaintiffs' goods to the defendant in the case, Tan Siew Hock. Tan Siew Hock failed to pay for the goods, and the plaintiffs sued the defendants for the unpaid price.
The defendants argued that they were not liable to the plaintiffs because they were not del credere agents. The defendants argued that the law of England, which does not recognize del credere agency, applied to the contract between the plaintiffs and the defendants.
The court held that the defendants were liable to the plaintiffs. The court held that the law of Malaya, which recognizes del credere agency, applied to the contract between the plaintiffs and the defendants. The court held that the defendants had agreed to be liable for the debts of their customers, and that they were therefore liable to the plaintiffs for the unpaid price of the goods.
As a result of the court's decision, the plaintiffs were awarded damages from the defendants