Former Springbok faces R9m claim following shooting incident

Johan Goosen scores a try against Australia in 2016.
Johan Goosen scores a try against Australia in 2016.
PHOTO: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
  • Former Springbok rugby player Johan Goosen is being sued for damages following a shooting accident in 2017.
  • A claim of R9 million has been instituted against Goosen by his friend and former employee, Armandt Stoman.
  • Stoman was shot in the leg and claims Goosen is reneging on a verbal agreement to compensate him for his losses and medical costs.

A R9 million civil claim has been instituted against former Springbok and Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen following a shooting accident that left Armandt Stoman, Goosen's friend and employee, wounded in his left leg.

In addition, in documents submitted to the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein, Goosen is being accused of reneging on an agreement to compensate Stoman, 28, to assist with his medical costs, salary, loss of future income and general damages.

Stoman has already undergone 11 operations and several other procedures in an attempt to regain the full use of his leg.

At the time of the incident on 24 January 2017, Goosen was handling a new hunting rifle when a shot went off. The claim has been brought against Goosen in his personal capacity, and alternatively, against him and the company G10 Bonsmara Stoetery, which is the registered owner of the farm Lila Flanders in Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape where the incident happened. Goosen is a director of the company.

In a special plea, Goosen – who lives in France where he is contracted to play for rugby club Montpellier – and the company state that as an employee, Stoman should instead claim from the Compensation Commissioner. Stoman was on duty on the morning of the shooting accident and it occurred during working hours, they claim.

Verbal contract

However, in papers before the court, Stoman's legal team says the incident did not take place during the execution of his duties on the farm. The accident happened in a house on the farm that Stoman occupied. Goosen was showing the hunting rifle that he and Stoman had collected in Kimberley that weekend to another friend, James Rheeders, when a shot was fired.

Had the accident not occurred, the men would have had breakfast at Wimpy in Aliwal North. Consequently, Stoman's legal team claims, the incident took place among friends and not during the execution of Stoman's duties. In addition, the rifle was not something that Stoman would use as part of his work.

Stoman's legal team says a verbal contract was entered into by the parties on 17 June 2017, where Goosen admitted that it was his negligence that led to the accident and the damages suffered by Stoman. In terms of the contract, Goosen would pay all Stoman's medical costs not covered by his hospital plan.

Goosen or the company would continue to pay his salary until his medical condition had stabilised to the extent that a realistic prognosis regarding his disability could be made. Goosen or the company would also compensate Stoman for loss of future income, general damages, the cost of experts and legal costs.

Johan Goosen with Armandt Stoman
Johan Goosen with Armandt Stoman. (PHOTO: Supplied via Netwerk24)
Supplied PHOTO: Supplied via Netwerk24

According to Stoman, they paid his salary until the end of August last year, as well as some of his legal costs. They undertook to pay future costs and damages. However, since 1 September last year, this agreement has not been honoured, he claims.

According to Goosen and the company's plea, they deny the existence of the agreement, saying it was merely settlement talks without prejudice to their rights. They paid Stoman's salary until the end of August and some of his medical expenses, but this was done only out of benevolence.

Stoman is being represented by Hugo Janzen van Vuuren of Rosendorff Reitz Barry Attorneys and Leon Strating of Symington De Kok Attorneys is representing Goosen and the company.

 - Translation by Riaan Grobler. Read the article in Afrikaans here.

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