Defamation in Owners Corporations – when communications spiral out of control: An update

The issue of what conduct can constitute defamation has been a topic for the NSW Courts recently.

The case of Raynor v Murray [2019] NSWDC 189 in the District Court related to a claim for defamation arising out of emails sent to lot owners and occupants. A very brief recap is that the District Court found that the Plaintiff (Mr Raynor) had made out their claim for defamation and awarded them $120,000 in damages.

A more detailed overview can be found here: https://kerinbensonlawyers.com.au/defamation-and-owners-corporations-be-careful-in-your-communications/

The Defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal and a decision was handed down this week in Murray v Raynor [2019] NSWCA 274 the District Court’s decision was set aside and ordered Mr Raynor to pay Ms Murray’s legal costs. The decision the found that Ms Murray’s defence of qualified privilege was made out and the Mr Raynor had failed to prove malice.

While in this case the defamation claim was ultimately not made out we urge lot owners, occupiers and strata managers to exercise care in what they say in their emails and, as will be evidence from the recent case of Voller v Nationwide News Pty Ltd; Voller v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd; Voller v Australian News Channel Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 766 which related to a claim of defamation arising from comments posted on social media, also take care when posting material on social media and monitoring comments.

A more detailed overview of the Voller can be found at: https://kerinbensonlawyers.com.au/facebook-operators-potentially-liable-for-defamatory-third-party-comments/

A good guideline is to take the view that courtesy costs nothing and to think before emailing/posting material.

This is general information and not legal advice. If you have an issue then advice specific to your situation should be obtained.

One response to “Defamation in Owners Corporations – when communications spiral out of control: An update

  1. Pingback: NSW: Defamation in Owners Corporations - Out of Control Communication·

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