DSC Attorneys welcomes court ruling in Andrew Merryweather case

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13 Jul 2021

In 2006, Andrew Merryweather was spear-tackled in a brawl, causing serious spinal injuries that left him paraplegic.

Represented by DSC Attorneys and with Advocate Whitehead arguing the matter, Andrew has finally been awarded damages by the Western Cape High Court.

Kirstie Haslam, partner at DSC Attorneys, says: “We have been acting for Andrew in respect of the devastating injuries he sustained as a result of this assault, which took place well over a decade ago, so we are very pleased with this eventual fair and just outcome.”

Andrew Merryweather’s long battle for legal justice

Andrew’s injury occurred on the night of 9 September 2006, during an altercation with a group of school boys at a petrol station.

One of the boys spear-tackled him and he hit a stationary vehicle, fracturing his spine. At the time, Andrew, 24 years old, was a restaurant manager.

2013 award of damages rescinded

In 2013, the Western Cape High Court issued a default judgment, awarding Andrew R11.4 million in damages.

The decision was appealed. In December 2015, the defendant succeeded in having the judgment rescinded.

Re-launched civil claim for personal injury

Andrew re-launched a personal injury claim.

In a 2021 interview with Cape Talk, Andrew explained, “It was never difficult for me to forgive those boys – of course, there’s the justice side and the civil side…

“The medical expenses which I didn’t bring on top of myself are just immense. That’s why, unfortunately, we need to seek the legal route.”

Andrew’s interests were represented by Celeste Wolpe-Munitz of DSC Attorneys and Advocate John Whitehead, who argued the case.

After prolonged delays due to an initial postponement and then the COVID-19 pandemic, the case was heard in March and May of 2021.

High Court ruling, awarding damages

The High Court returned its judgment on 22 June, awarding damages to Andrew.

Responding to the judgment, Andrew said, “It was very emotional and still feels surreal because this has been such a long journey.”

The legal journey isn’t quite finished. The quantum of damages to be awarded is still to be argued in a further hearing.

For now, Andrew is relieved that the legal marathon is over. He says, “I will be able to close this chapter of my life and move forward, which in itself feels like I have been given a new lease on life.”

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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