Train windows 'for comfort, not safety'

2012-05-09 12:50

Cape Town - The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) says an open window on a train is a matter of commuter comfort and not safety, The Cape Times reported on Wednesday.

Prasa's advocate Donald Jacobs used this argument in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, in defence against a R1.12m lawsuit.

Film technician Serge Loutala, 39, is suing Prasa after he lost an eye when a stone flew into the carriage through a broken window on a Metrorail train travelling between Salt River and Nyanga, Cape Town, on October 29, 2006.

Loutala's advocate Wayne Coughlan argued Prasa had an obligation to ensure the safety of its commuters, including fixing broken windows and erecting fencing along railway lines.

Prasa has also argued it could not be expected to have control over the criminal actions of people.

Eyewitness Guy Miemoukondo Nsienta, who was on the same train, had testified he saw two teenage boys outside running away after Loutala was hit in the eye.

Judgment was reserved.

  • rynhardt.ferreira - 2012-05-09 12:59

    Yeah, just like the window on your car is there for comfort and not to keep stuff from hitting you in the face!!

      npretorius2 - 2012-05-09 13:56

      Whats next? Telling us condoms are also only for comfort and not safety?

  • TrueTenacity - 2012-05-09 13:02

    Sickening... absolutely sickening...

  • Henri - 2012-05-09 13:03

    Freaking hell imagine BMW says your windows is for comfort and not safety, where do these people get their logic from ???

  • Deon - 2012-05-09 13:07

    This must be a cheap advocate that argues this?

      Buzz - 2012-05-09 14:37

      University of Limpoopoo graduate ?

  • Vincent - 2012-05-09 13:09

    I can understand you talking about opening a window doesn't constitute safety. But correct me if I am wrong but a broken window doesn't give a passenger the choice of having it open or closed therefore the argument of comfort shouldn't be relevant.

      netshikulwe - 2012-05-09 14:01

      This bastard are claiming that the guy should have sit somewhere is the window was broken. stupid and senseless argument

  • Thoka - 2012-05-09 13:10

    what a retard advocate.

  • michelle.dietrich - 2012-05-09 13:11

    If it wasn't so sad it would be funny! Imagine driving the N2 without a windscreen!!!

  • Omrisho - 2012-05-09 13:14

    heheh... the magistrate should have the advocate throw out of court and disbarred for being idiotic enough to even put this forward as some kind of defence, insulting the magistrate's intelligence like that, i ask you...

      Omrisho - 2012-05-09 13:18

      and to add insult to injury, if it was for comfort, then why was the damaged window not replaced, do metrorail/prasa not care about their customers at all?? pathetic

      Omrisho - 2012-05-09 13:19

      sorry... *thrown

      Glyn - 2012-05-09 14:20

      Who cares if is throw or thown! The advocate is a tosser! Ha! Ha!

      thinga - 2012-05-09 14:45

      the magistrate also is an idiot!!!

  • misswoodcutter - 2012-05-09 13:18

    This is absolutely shocking! I'm at a loss for words...

  • NrGx - 2012-05-09 13:20

    My retort: well the window is there for comfort. One has comfort in knowing the window is there for your safety. What say you Mr advocate

  • Greg - 2012-05-09 13:20

    PRASA, I suggest after you've lost this one, bring a civil claim against your advocate for the fees you wasted on him...

  • thami.rapoo - 2012-05-09 13:21

    Who ever this lawyer is he or she speaks BULL

  • Lee-Ann - 2012-05-09 13:24

    Is that there defence??? Really???

  • Tumisang - 2012-05-09 13:28

    I have noted in their trains above the windows is written \emergency exit\....was that for comfort??

      NrGx - 2012-05-09 13:29

      of course. its where you lay your head to rest when the train is burning or going to crash

  • Rob - 2012-05-09 13:30

    "Eyewitness Guy Miemoukondo Nsienta", HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

      Rob - 2012-05-09 14:39

      Awww come on... How can you not find that funny?

  • Steven - 2012-05-09 13:31

    "Your honour, as a matter of fact, the windows are there for comfort not for safety". Did I just read that?

      Gareth - 2012-05-09 13:37

      No, you just typed it...

      Mike - 2012-05-09 13:49

      There is no such title as your honour it's Milord or your lordship.

      Gareth - 2012-05-09 13:55

      Your Worship in SA courts...

      BruceRSanderson - 2012-05-09 14:02

      Your Honour = a Judge; Your Worship = a Magistrate

      Steven - 2012-05-09 14:17

      @Gareth, lol @Sanbru, shot for the breakdown. I can just imagine being in the court room as the advocate said that, rofl. Prasa/metrofail are just a magnification of the mentality behind the running of all other state enterprises. They have a belief they are doing us a favour by "providing" the service. If this their lawyer of choice, I'm also going to sue them for something, anything, I'm pretty sure i'll win.

  • Stuka - 2012-05-09 13:33

    Hope karma nail those "alleged stone thowers" if wasnt for them, think they can do what the want this would not have happened. The idiotic prasa advocate is probably living the bad karm dream...wanker.

  • Tamaranui - 2012-05-09 13:34

    Prasa, This is a weak as argument. You should be ashamed all these tools at your fingertips and that's the best you's can offer. Catch a wakeup and compensate this victim, concurrently ensure your trains are in the correct operational order.

  • SaffaSeun - 2012-05-09 13:43

    This incident and now also court case has even made headlines here in would not believe the comments of laughter on the imcompotence of this! SA is the laughing stock of the world already... And this type of thing is the reason why!!! Oh my word, it is not only shocking, but actually disgusting.. How you can sleep at night arguing that, I honestly as a normal human being, dont know.

  • Martin - 2012-05-09 13:44

    give that advocate some mob justice

  • KCorsar - 2012-05-09 13:45

    What a pathetic argument, talk about clutching at straws............ Fact - there is no maintenance on domestic trains, sure crime is a problem, but police it! PS the window was broken, it not like he opened it and stuck his head out of it! Give up this case is lost, arguments is so poor.

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-05-09 13:47

    It pains me to see someone clearly liable steep so low in order to jump the gun and assert that something, from its very first inception for safety above any other function, is now merely for comfort. I guess in the same breath you can assert then that windowpanes on airplanes are there for comfort and not safety or that condoms are there for comfort and not safety.

      jurgen.eksteen - 2012-05-09 13:55

      Furthermore, Prasa and their advocate should do some research and look a the design of the trains from where ever they buy them from. (I would like to own that company because our trains get torched every other day just because people are angry) The window is part of their design with safety in mind .. the next thing they will try and sell the court is that the train is enclosed to keep the sun and rain off the passengers rather that create stability to the train during rail travel and strength during a derailment.

      Ze Don - 2012-05-09 14:27

      You forgot that the floor is only decorative as well!

  • Gavin - 2012-05-09 13:49

    surely anything that travels above a certain speeds needs to have saftey glass fitted, not for the comfort, but for the safety of its passengers ? ok, then let's take the windows out of this idiot lawyers porsche.

  • Henry - 2012-05-09 13:55

    'My fellow train commuters', please bear in mind that as long as 1 is on the Metrorail/Prasa property (station, trais etc) your personal safety is entirely up to him. It's unlike luxury services (Gautrain) where the passenger's safety's a priority (because that service's for the privileged few) here on public transport, a first aid mght be granted, but 1 (as I say) can't hold the company responsible. (there's a waiver/disclaimer on that point) I feel that the plaintiff in this case (regrettably) is standing to lose. (with the costs, of course)

  • Louis - 2012-05-09 14:02

    Another example of why people in our country get away with murder, literally

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-05-09 14:07

    Wow how stupid can a person be?Do the windows in our cars and homes there for luxury?When a window of your car is broken and they steal your radio,does it mean your window is not luxurious enough?When your window is broken your insurance will replace it so that your car could be luxurious?

  • pokum - 2012-05-09 14:24

    They should just pay and stop acting the fool

  • Rob - 2012-05-09 14:29

    I don't see anybody agreeing with the advocate about comfort....yet, so it looks like everyone has the same view. BUT we should take note that such an argument is being heard and considered in a court of law. The implications of this are far reaching. It reflects a very sickening trend of trivialisation of individual values, in so much as ordinary people may have consititutional rights but defending the right to be treated like a human being is seriously under threat. To suggest that each person must be accountable for their actions is 100% commendable, but to counter this by suggesting that CORPORATE GROUPS ARE EXCLUDED is collectivism at its worse and will destroy what remains of individual rights.

  • tebogo.mereyotlhe - 2012-05-09 14:40

    Donald Jacobs must stop going to court high.....Prasa knows nothing about Comfort...having a seat in the train is the same as sitting on a rock...Even the rock is better...a 4 year old can give a better logic than this....

  • Hester - 2012-05-09 14:44

    And I assume the windows in a plane is there for comfort as well!! So, what he actually says is a train is unsafe, because it has windows. Keep away from the windows, do not sit on the seats supplied for your comfort next to the windows. As from today people only use the aisle.

  • DuToitCoetzee - 2012-05-09 15:13

    Ok Prasa than why do you not rather buy these train wagons that they transport cattle in. I am sure it will cost you cheaper and your current passenger wagons seams than to be on that standard, seeing that you do not believe windows are necessary. I do not mind an intelligent "play" in court to defend your client, but if any layer accept an instruction and than using these arguments he/she must be desperately in need of money or not on par. To play with "facts" is a norm, but ignoring the general exception and the intelligence of a court bluntly, can be seen as self inflicted damage. In USA a technicality through a technical argument works better. In SA we still grant some justice to the normal acception. Good luck. You waste your client's money, but than stranger things has happened before.

  • Zion - 2012-05-09 15:17

    The headlines of this article must surely indicate the mentality of the metro system. and at the level of a cretin.

  • Stoutseun - 2012-05-09 15:35

    Pay the man you ignorant b@stards!

  • Elize - 2012-05-09 15:42

    Better check this guys license, maybe he is not even a advocate!!

  • Vernon - 2012-05-09 16:12

    this oke is clutching at straws,d@@s

  • IcemanGP - 2012-05-09 17:20

    How low can these stoopid idiotic lawyers go? And they study for how long?

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-09 17:30

    Twak - since when is comfort ever more important than safety? I have heard some amazing excuses, but this one takes the cake.

  • Kholofelo Irene Maboho - 2012-05-09 18:42

    Oh, the seats are complimentary I guess!

  • Serame - 2012-05-09 19:45

    prasa must just pay it is their responsibility to ensure that broken windows are fixed on their trains. had that window happen to be of a business express trian it would have been fixed long time ago.prasa service sucks

  • jonathan.seagul.5 - 2012-06-19 21:31

    These are our brilliant affirmative action management of Prasa. Remember that an advocate takes instructions from his client. This bright idea comes from Prasa

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