Marlon Samuels set to receive `substantial’ damages over Lawson remarks

KINGSTON, Jamaica,  CMC — West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels is set to receive “substantial damages” and a full public apology after succeeding in a defamation case against former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson.

The Jamaican’s England-based lawyer Suzette A. Thompson said Lawson had erred in making offensive comments in a radio podcast, ‘Big Sports Breakfast last year, and added that her client was now pleased with the outcome.

“These comments were published and aired without proper journalist research, nor was Samuels contacted to give his views on the damaging remarks about his character,” Thompson said.

“We are delighted that Lawson and the Big Sports Breakfast radio have now settled and are issuing a full apology and agreed to pay substantial damages to Marlon.”

Speaking a day after Samuels steered West Indies to the capture of the Twenty20 World Cup in India last April, Lawson claimed the player was associated with criminal activity in Jamaica and was “a guy you don’t muck around with on or off the field.”

Samuels then instructed his lawyers to take legal action against Lawson for “erroneous, malicious and unjustifiable comments.”

The 36-year-old Samuels, a veteran of 71 Tests and 187 One-Day Internationals, said it had been important to defend his values.

“Through this case, my intention was not only to defend my integrity and image as an international cricketer, but also the values I have defended all my career,” he said.

“I also wish to avoid any public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.”

Lawson’s apology will be broadcast on air at an agreed time.

It is understood that Samuels will donate a percentage of the damages to the Marlon Samuels Society for the Blind in Jamaica along with other charities.

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