Mirabella pay­out de­ci­sion to­day

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

FOR­MER Indi MP So­phie Mirabella will find out to­day the amount she will re­ceive in dam­ages fol­low­ing her suc­cess­ful claim against the Be­nalla En­sign.

Ms Mirabella’s lawyer, Ge­orgina Schoff QC, rec­om­mended $300,000 and $400,000 be awarded in ag­gra­vated and com­pen­satory dam­ages af­ter County Court judge Michael Mac­na­mara agreed that the Be­nalla En­sign and its for­mer editor Libby Price had de­famed Ms Mirabella for pub­lish­ing an in­cor­rect claim that Ms Mirabella had pushed po­lit­i­cal op­po­nent Cathy McGowan at the open­ing of a new wing at Cooinda Aged Care in Be­nalla dur­ing the fed­eral elec­tion cam­paign in 2016.

David Gilbertson QC, rep­re­sent­ing Be­nalla News­pa­pers and Libby Price, said al­though the ar­ti­cle was “a se­ri­ous defama­tion”, it was at the “lower end” and sug­gested dam­ages should be “well un­der $100,000”.

He ar­gued the plain­tiff’s com­ments to Aged Care Min­is­ter Ken Wy­att last year that they needed to “get (their) ev­i­dence right” were an ex­am­ple of “dis­rep­utable con­duct of suf­fi­cient se­ri­ous­ness to war­rant Ms Mirabella be­ing awarded mod­er­ate dam­age”.

County Court judge Michael Mac­na­mara will an­nounce his de­ci­sion at 10am to­day.

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