RTHK driver wounded at Admiralty clashes may sue cops for damages

Local | 12 Jul 2019 6:50 pm

An RTHK driver who was seriously injured during clashes between police and protesters outside Legco last month says he is taking advise from his lawyers about suing for compensation, RTHK reports.
Chong Man-lung's heart stopped for a while after he was believed to have been hit by a tear gas cannister after he had transported camera equipment to the protest scene in Admiralty. 
Chong, 48, said he still does not know exactly what happened to him during the clashes. 
A month on from his ordeal, the contract worker revealed how his insurance company had at one point refused to cover his medical expenses because the Chief Executive Carrie Lam had described the June 12 clashes as a riot. 
“Because Carrie Lam said it was a riot, the insurance does not cover it. Events like unrest are not covered,” he said. 
But the government later said it had never given any definition to the clashes, and Chong said that a few days ago the insurance company informed him that it would pay for his stay in hospital after all. 
He said he still has problems hearing in one ear, and pus continues to form in sores on various parts of his body. The injuries are affecting his work, he said.
“Sometimes [pus] grows on my sole, and I can’t even walk. I have to poke it before I can walk. Otherwise the lump really hurts. I have to endure the pain and poke it, to let out the blood and the pus,” he said. 
Despite the injuries, Chong said he can’t afford to take any time off. 
“I’m self-employed. If I don’t work, I can’t feed myself. If I take sick leave, I can’t work, but I still have to pay for my family expenses. So, even when I have to see doctors, I just have to start work later, but I still need to work every day."
As for seeking compensation from police, Chong said he has to discuss the matter with lawyers. 
“I have to see what my lawyers tell me tomorrow, they will meet me tomorrow to see what I can do. I don’t know anything, I have to seek other people’s views on this matter.”
Chong said seeing any images of police carrying pepper spray makes him feel anxious and he is trying to avoid reading news of the ongoing extradition protests so he can get over the trauma.

RTHK’s program staff union said today that it is raising funds to support Chong and if he decides to claim damages, it will provide him with as much legal assistance as possible. 
Meanwhile, the station's spokeswoman, Amen Ng, said since Chong is a contract driver, the company he works for is responsible for matters relating to his insurance.
Ng said RTHK had written to the Police Commissioner relaying the station's concerns for the safety of its staff when on duty.

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