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Cave man wins case against lawyer

Sist oppdatert:
A man who has been living in a cave in Oslo, Norway, for more than twenty years, has won the case against his former lawyer.

The ruling from Oslo county court states that the lawyer's claim against the man can not be accepted. The bottom line is that the cave dweller does not have to pay the fees of NOK 40,000 (USD 6,000).

The lawyer’s claim dates back to 1996 when the cave dweller sued the Norwegian government and the University of Oslo.

Smelled bad
The reason for the suit was that the university had him thrown out and refused him the right to take his exams and thereby to graduate. The reason given was that the man smelled bad.

The man refused to wash himself after he settled into a cave at the university in Oslo in 1978. The cave dweller has earlier stated that his choice of abode had to do with the need to “experience life and the environment, and break the limits of understanding of our existence.”

Demanded NOK 3 million
The man, who is now in his 50s, was supposed to take his doctorial exams in atomic physic and astrophysics when he was thrown out of the university in the end of the 1980s.

In the following suit, the man demanded NOK 3 million of lost income since he was refused the right to graduate.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, but the man lost here too.

Lost in the court of conciliation
Lawyer Dag Holmen, who now lost the case against his former client, represented the cave dweller in the court case in 1996. When the claim connected to the lawyer’s fee came up in the court of conciliation in October 2001, Holmen won. The lawyer could claim NOK40,000 in fees from his client, but the man appealed the case to Oslo tingsrett, and the case he now won.

The cave dweller stated that he had an agreement with Holmen that the case against the university was a “pro bono” case, and that the Holmen would get paid on basis of what the man possible got if awarded litigation costs. Lawyer Holmen said in Oslo tingrett that no such agreement was ever made.

In the judgement from Oslo tingrett, it states that Holmen can not claim the fee, and besides, the limitation period has expired.

Neither Holmen nor the cave dweller wanted to comment the case when TV 2 Nettavisen contacted them.

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