Ear-biter settles assault case

2015-04-16 12:28

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Pietermaritzburg - A lawsuit arising from a fight between two men during which half of one man’s ear was bitten off, was settled at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Wednesday.

Pietermaritzburg man Jovan Nel, 32, who had half his right ear bitten off and suffered bites to other parts of his body, had sued insurance broker Leon Durow, 44, for R750 000.

This included an amount for psychological trauma and the disfigurement he suffered.

Durow - alleging self defence - in turn laid a counter claim against Nel for R360 000 in damages for broken teeth, a torn tricep muscle, bruises and abrasions and a broken right thumb. He also alleged that he’d aggravated an existing shoulder injury during the tussle with Nel.

Settled out of court

Nel’s lawyer, Swasthie Hariparsad of Botha & Olivier attorneys, confirmed that the case was settled out of court, but said the terms of the settlement were strictly confidential.

She said Nel did not want to make any comments after the case, but was happy and relieved that the case was finally over.

The Witness contacted the Durban firm of attorneys who represented Durow, but was told his lawyer was not in the office.

According to court papers Nel and Durow became involved in a fight near Franki Bananaz nightclub in Pietermaritzburg on April 10, 2009.

Nel’s claim said that he’d had half his right ear bitten off and was bitten on other parts of his body resulting in “indentations”. He also suffered bruises and abrasions.

He had to undergo hospital and medical treatment by doctors and specialists for his injuries. He was also psychologically traumatised as a result of the severe scarring he suffered.

His claim included amounts for past and future treatment, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, disfigurement, and loss of earnings.

Photographs attached to the court papers displayed Nel’s ripped right ear, and bite marks on other parts of his body.

Self defence

In response, Durow said he acted in self defence and that his actions were justified because he alleged Nel had “unlawfully and intentionally” assaulted him.

He alleged Nel struck him on his face with a clenched fist and “kicked and struck him numerous times on the body causing severe physical harm”.

Both men maintained that any force they’d used was equal to the aggression they had encountered, and that they had been in danger of being seriously injured or killed.

The court papers did not reveal what caused the fight.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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