IT was the $100,000 lawsuit that was never about the money and all about fulfilling a dying father’s final wish.
Now the son of Aussie rock legend Doc Neeson can say that he kept his promise to pursue the man who fleeced his dad of tens of thousands of dollars after the Supreme Court this week upheld a lower court order that music promoter Mark Filby pay back the money.
Kieran Neeson, 30, said he was fighting back tears when Justice Robert Beech-Jones threw out Filby’s appeal against the earlier decision and ordered Filby repay the $70,500 — plus six years’ interest — that he borrowed from the Angels frontman who died of brain cancer in 2014.
Filby was also ordered to pay all legal fees, putting the overall cost to him at more than $100,000.
“I am really happy with myself for fulfilling that promise,” Mr Neeson said. “I would like to think Dad would have been proud of how I handled myself. I was never driven in a monetary sense, it was always a moral thing because I told my father I would not let him get away with taking the money and not repaying it.”
Filby now has 28 days to repay the money before Mr Neeson commences bankruptcy proceedings against him. Mr Neeson said most of the money would be donated to a brain cancer charity.
Doc Neeson gave the money to Filby in a series of loans that the music promoter confirmed when he signed a Statutory Declaration in 2009.
The singer began legal proceedings against Filby months before he died.
Kieran Neeson and his brothers took up the fight following their dad’s death and recruited solicitor John Bryson, who took up their cause for no charge.“They emailed over 100 barristers in Sydney that they had run out of money to run the case,” Mr Bryson said.
“Doc Neeson was part of my growing up, I told them if you can satisfy me that you are genuine, I would be more than happy to look at the documents and take this up on a pro bono basis.”
Mr Bryson represented the Neesons in the Local Court and passed the baton to barrister Alex Callinger when it was appealed in the Supreme Court. Mr Neeson said he was very grateful to the pair of them.
“Absolute legends,” he said.
“This has been the most stressful thing I have ever experienced in my life,” he said. “At the end of the day I made a promise to my father and I had to go through with it.”
Credits: Sarah Crawford, The Daily Telegraph