News | South Africa | Courts
A woman who tried to sue an Olympic athlete for running into her during a road race in Cape Town in 2014, has ended up coming off second best.
The Western Cape High Court last week dismissed the R718 000 damages claim Yasmin Salie had brought against both Christine Kalmer and the Western Province Athletics (WPA).
This after she and Kalmer – who represented South Africa at the 2016 Olympics – collided on the promenade in Mouille Point during a Spar Ladies Race organised by the WPA in April 2014, leaving Salie with an injured leg.
Salie was at the time a spectator and Kalmer, a participant in the race. Ultimately, the court found Salie had not been able to prove negligence on either Kalmer or WPA’s part.
On Kalmer’s version, Salie had stepped into her path while she was running at approximately 20km/h and she had shouted to her to “watch” before raising her arms to brace for the impact.
“It was undisputed that Kalmer, an elite athlete, was a seriouscontender for points and prizes in the 2014 Grand Prix Series of Spar 10km events… She was accordingly by no means a casual participant in the 2014 event; she ran competitively to achieve the fastest time possible,” Judge Judith Cloete ruled.
She found the reasonable participant, meanwhile, was “entitled to expect the spectator to have such knowledge of the activities, and such vigilance for her own safety, as might reasonably be expected to be possessed by a person who chooses to watch the event”.
“In these circumstances both WPA and Kalmer could reasonably have anticipated that [Salie] would keep a proper lookout and would not simply disregard her own safety as well as that of the race participants, by stepping into the path some had just travelled in the middle of the pavement and where others would no doubt shortly follow suit,” Cloete said.
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