OTTAWA — Top Canadian paralympians Jon and Jason Dunkerley are facing a personal-injury lawsuit for crashing into another runner on a morning jog along the Rideau Canal in 2010.
The Dunkerley brothers, both born blind, are being sued for $350,000 in a statement of claim filed by jogger Mimi Lepage, who has had hip surgery since the crash on the morning of Jan. 24, 2010.
Her statement of claim says that she will need treatment and therapy for the rest of her life, citing tears of the hip, and injuries to an elbow and shoulder. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The collision happened around 10 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2010 along the Rideau Canal jogging path in the Glebe between Patterson Creek and Fifth Avenue.
In documents filed in Ottawa court on Dec. 22, 2011, Lepage says she was running south on the west side of the Rideau Canal when the Dunkerley brothers, their guide runners, and others in their running group crashed into her from behind.
The claim says that after the collision the Dunkerleys fell on top of Lepage, injuring her so badly she had trouble walking and has been unable to tend to housekeeping, let alone run.
“The collision was caused by the negligence of the defendants, Jon and Jason, who, as elite runners and users of the public recreational path, owed a duty to other users of the path not to create a risk or harm to those users,” the statement of claim alleges.
The lawsuit against the blind runners also alleges they were “running at an unsafe speed given the circumstances, including their abilities, their method of communicating with their guides, the terrain of the path, the size of their running group, and the number of other users of the path at the time.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the running group attempted “to pass other users of the recreational path when it was unsafe to do so” and that the nine-member formation failed to share the popular jogging path.
Lepage’s statement of claim alleges that the blind runners “owed a duty of care to other users of the recreational path not to create a hazard or situation of danger that the other users cannot avoid.”
The claim also states that the running group failed to ‘take other evasive measures to avoid striking Ms. Lepage.’
Lepage also named her son, born in 2002, as a plaintiff in the claim. In that part of the claim she has cited “loss of care, guidance and companionship.”
Reached Thursday, Jon Dunkerley, 31, told the Citizen that he feels ‘horrible’ about what happened to Lepage but said it was an accident. He said he is seeking legal advice with the full intention of vigorously defending himself, as is his brother.
Dunkerley also said the fact that Lepage named the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club Inc. as a defendant in the lawsuit is “ridiculous.” He says it was not a sanctioned training run, rather, as he put it, just a bunch of ‘running buddies.’
Dunkerley also questioned a detail contained in the lawsuit, specifically the claim that Lepage hasn’t been able to run since the January 2010 jogging crash.
“We Googled her name to see who she was and it showed that she ran a race in April 2010, so if she was hurt so bad that she said she’s been unable to run, why is her name listed for running a 10-k months later?” Dunkerley asked.
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/Jog ... z1lznle169
I think that adding her son to the plaintiff for loss of care, guidance and companionship is the worst part of it all. So if she's not running she has less time for her son? And she can't be a good example to him so she's suing others so she can't be be a good example to him?
Its an unfortunate incident (some group runners even with eyes can be idiots - as I've experienced a few times in Hamilton) but geez this is too far.
My other favourites are
1) Elite runners must have been running at unsafe speeds
2) She can't do housekeeping or running anymore since 2010.
I thought runners were strong. I doubt an elite runner is all that heavy. Runners step on my feet every so often and I don't break toes from it. It's not like she's 90.