The Perils of Precision

It’s important to be precise, right? Well, think again!

In a recent Court of Appeal decision of Mammoth Empire Construction Sdn Bhd v Lifomax Woodbuild Sdn Bhd, the Plaintiff claimed for a precise amount of RM1,447,087.65, which was the unpaid sums for construction materials supplied.

One passage from the decision is worthy to be quoted, and it says as follows:

“It will be noted that there was no prayer for ‘such other sum as may be found due‘ or for ‘the court to order an assessment’…It meant that the Plaintiff’s recovery from the Defendant was restricted to the whole of that amount or none; all of the specified sum quantified or none at all, in other words.

Honestly, this part of the decision seems odd. Surely if a person claims for RM1.4m but is able to only prove RM1.1m (for instance), they should be entitled to that RM1.1m proven? But apparently not, according to the Court of Appeal. Because “the Plaintiff had to prove to the hilt their case as pleaded“.

So Plaintiffs beware. Make sure your claim is couched in general enough terms, otherwise you may be left high and dry for failure to prove to the cent the amount claimed.

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