Recent Cases

Massoud v Nationwide News Pty Ltd; Massoud v Fox Sports Australia Pty Ltd [2022] NSWCA 150 (18 August 2022) (Leeming and Mitchelmore JJA, Simpson AJA)


Catchwords:


DEFAMATION – imputations – whether imputations conveyed by publications – plaintiff alleged alternative imputations – whether plaintiff entitled to decision that publication conveyed primary imputation as opposed to imputation most accurately reflected in publication – “single meaning rule” considered – contextual truth – whether contextual imputations conveyed

DEFAMATION – justification – report of plaintiff’s offensive language mis-stated – plaintiff said to colleague “if you weren’t so young I’d come up there and rip your head off and shit down your throat” – reported as threat to “slit” colleague’s throat – significance of conditionality of language – significance of impossibility of literal meaning of plaintiff’s language – whether publication nevertheless substantially true

DEFAMATION – honest opinion – fact/opinion distinction – significance of non-verbal and contextual aspects of publication – whether factual statements and opinion inextricably intermingled – whether opinion based on proper material

DEFAMATION – offer of amends – offer to publish “correction” – offer did not include acknowledgement of error or statement of correct position – offer to publish matters claimed by plaintiff – offer held not to amount to correction for purposes of statutory defence

APPEALS – principles governing appellate review – principles vary depending on nature of challenge – no obligation to resolve non-dispositive submissions – consideration of principle of judicial economy – consideration of “substantial wrong or miscarriage” precondition to ordering new trial – UCPR r 51.53 considered – significance of rule in case of judge-alone trial – significance of rule if evidence found to be wrongly rejected – relation between rule and s 56 of Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW)