Tyre king Bob Jane has been called a liar in court, in the latest development of the continuing legal stoush between himself and his son, Rodney.
The father and son appeared in the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday as Jane, 83, seeks to recover $2.9 million he claims was loaned to his son and companies associated with Bob Jane Corporation.
Rodney Jane now heads the corporation.
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Jane alleges his son took advantage of him when he was ill in 2006 and used his poor health to trick him into leaving the company.
Rodney is defending his father’s claims by saying $520,000 was given to him as a gift and a further $2.4 million, which was used to purchase office space, had been fully repaid.
In yesterday’s proceedings Rodney’s lawyer Ian Waller, SC, called Jane a “shrewd and calculating witness capable of fashioning evidence to suit his needs”.
Jane told the court his stroke had caused significant memory loss and he’d trusted his son and staff to run the company.
When giving evidence, Bob Jane alleged one of his signatures had been a forgery and he had been denied access to financial documents.
Waller accused Jane of giving contradictory information and said he had overemphasised his ill health as an excuse for anything he may have signed or sworn, when in reality following Jane’s stroke he had holidayed, taken business trips and entertained guests at the Melbourne Cup.
“Bob Jane was at pains… to emphasise his ill health as a way of, we say, evading responsibility for things he’s done or signed or sworn,” Waller said.
The defence barrister alleged Jane concocts evidence “as he thinks best helps his situation from time to time”.
To demonstrate Jane’s alleged untruthfulness, Waller said when divorcing his former wife Laree Jane, he had claimed during the proceedings his wife had forged documents, but these claims were shown to be unsubstantiated.
This latest court case is just one in a string of battles between the father and son. The feud became public in 2011 when Jane’s son took him to court to stop him using the Bob Jane name on a rival company.
Rodney Jane has claimed his father appointed him as the chief executive in 2002 to prevent the company from going under.
SmartCompany contacted Jane’s lawyer, but received no response prior to publication.
Throughout the latest proceedings both parties have been urged to resolve the matter outside of court and yesterday Justice Michael Sifris reminded the father and son litigation was not the only answer.
“It’s never too late,” he said as quoted in The Age.
Justice Sifris is yet to hand down his verdict and the date is yet to be fixed.