Deborah Comer v South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Ltd

Deborah Corner v South Lanarkshire CouncilOn 12th March 2017, Ms Comer took part in a duathlon event which had been organised by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Ltd.
The event took place at Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds and Strathclyde Park. An underpass under the M74 and a bridge over the river Clyde connected the two locations.
Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds are owned by South Lanarkshire Council and Strathclyde Park is owned and managed by North Lanarkshire Council. The River Clyde is the boundary between the two councils at this point. 
Ms Comer had already completed a 5k run and was 20k into her cycle when she reached a “cracked and uneven” footpath leading from the bridge over the River Clyde.
As her front wheel made contact with the uneven path, she was thrown from her time trial bike and her head hit with the ground.
She has been left with a permanent scar on her face and has been traumatised psychologically by the incident.
Ms Comer argued that the state of the road surface was a foreseeable risk, and that the route should have been altered by the event organiser.
The event organiser, on the other hand, argued that Ms Comer, who was experienced in competing in UK and European events four or five times a year, was aware of the potential defect and had been travelling at a speed which had not allowed her to react in time.
The court found the event organiser to be not responsible for the state of the pathway. In addition, the organisers had provided a pre-race briefing to all competitors giving specific instructions about this section of the route, declaring it a “no race” area and instructing all cyclists to slow down and cycle accordingly.
The case was dismissed.

The full decision can be found here.


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