They were the legal team that spent years battling to prove in court that AFL legend Barry Cable was a predator and a paedophile.
And now solicitor Michael Magazanik and WA barrister Tim Hammond have made more legal history, by winning the single biggest compensation payout ever awarded to a child abuse survivor in Australian history.
Mr Magazanik and his firm Rightside Legal spent more than four years formulating the civil lawsuit against Cable, which went to trial earlier this year after decades of legal obstruction and secrecy.
After the trial, a District Court judge found that Cable had sexually abused a young woman from the age of 12, abuse which persisted for years and left her with severe mental and physical scars.
That resulted in an $800,000 damages award for her — and Cable being outed as a serial predator, who not only abused her but several other young women who came forward to tell their stories.
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In this week’s episode of The West’s Court in the Act podcast, Mr Magazanik describes how that case was eventually won — and pays tribute to the woman who spent most of her adult life trying to expose the truth about the one-time AFL Hall of Fame legend.
On Thursday, the same legal duo — led in court by Mr Hammond against some of Victoria’s most eminent civil lawyers — won another momentous legal victory.
A Supreme Court civil jury delivered a verdict against the Western Bulldogs over the abuse of Adam Kneale at the hands of a club fundraiser, following a four-week trial.
When asked whether the football club’s negligence caused Kneale’s injuries, the foreperson said: “Yes.”
The jury of six determined Kneale should be paid out $5,943,151 for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and medical-related expenses.
Kneale hugged his supporters in court after hearing the verdict.
He was the victim of a years-long campaign of sexual abuse at the hands of Graeme Hobbs, known as “Chops”, who trained under-19s at Footscray Football Club and was a prolific volunteer fundraiser for the club.
Kneale was aged 11 when the “jack of all trades” Hobbs first raped him at an administration building at the club’s home ground in 1984.
He brought the action to court as he said the football club was vicariously liable for his abuse because it gave Hobbs special access.
He sought aggravated damages after the club didn’t reach out to him when his abuse became public, a failure he says left him with no closure after everything that happened on its grounds.
The Western Bulldogs had denied it knew about the offending.
Listen to the episode in full below.