QLD Ex employer contacts new Employer

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Nuggie84, 21 August 2017.

  1. Nuggie84

    Nuggie84 Member

    21 August 2017
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    I am just wondering if i have a strong case for defamation.
    to give you an idea of this relationship between myself and ex employer, I recently resigned from my old job (the 7th to resign in 6 months). My employer refused to accept and instead "terminated" my employment. This is currently playing out in the relevant court as they have not paid out my final entitlements.

    My old employer has found out where I work and has contacted my new employer and made a whole lot of baseless allegations including that i am being investigated for theft from the workfplace of tax file numbers ( i work in a property management company, we don't even have peoples tax file numbers! and i definitely did not steal anything), that I am currently the subject of a police investigation (a trip up to the police stations confirmed this isn't the case, and after reading the said email said she's a vindictive person and as far as they are concerned her accusations of police investigation is baseless), and that i was selling drugs to tenants (i can honestly say this isn't true, the only time i've come into contact with drugs in my job is when i went and did a routine inspection and one of the tenants was in her room and i could smell marijuana being smoked and warned her that it is a contravention of her lease agreement to do drugs on the property).

    She thinks because she wrote at the bottom of the email - "please note this email is strictly confidential and intended only for the persons addressed to" that this will remove her from any wrongdoing in relation to the defamatory comments. I have been provided with a copy of the email.

    She also wrote "if you are interested, i would be more than happy to have a conversation with you about her". My new employers have called her and took detailed notes which included her calling me morally bankrupt and a pathological lier.

    After meeting with me and us all going up to the local police station at my insistence to request that they confirm I am not under investigation or wanted for questioning, and after asking their very good friend (who coincidentally happened to own the business before my old employers bought it off her), what her opinion is of my old employer (which was not positive), they have decided to let me stay on in my role, however it was touch and go.

    I would like to sue her for defamation, just wondering what the strength would be of a win?

    Thanks in advance for reading my long post and your responses.
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
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    Based on your post you have a seemingly good chance.

    Work out what you want and send her a letter seeking an apology and ....(insert what else you want) by x date. If you don't get a suitable reply you need to go to court.
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  3. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

    16 February 2017
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    The real issue will be, what damage have you suffered? Although you don't necessarily need to prove damage to have a successful action, it does factor into the damages awarded. It's not worth your time pursuing an action that will cost you thousands of dollars if you're unlikely to get an award that fails to cover those costs. Most people who do pursue defamation cases have deep pockets, and probably do it more out of 'moral outrage' than commercial sense. Also, in your case, it appears the comments have been made to one person who didn't believe them anyway.

    You can, and should, send a cease and desist letter. But I would be looking at taking very careful consideration before you contemplate litigation.
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  4. Matthew Karakoulakis

    Matthew Karakoulakis Well-Known Member

    27 October 2016
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    Briefly, defamation can be established where one person communicates, by words or other means, material which is capable of damaging the reputation of another person. From the facts, we think the communication from your ex-employer has the effect or tendency of causing harm to your reputation.

    Remedies for defamation include general and aggravated compensatory damages.

    If you think damage has been done to your reputation by defamatory comments, then you should seek legal advice quickly because a defamation action must be commenced in court within one year from the date of publication.

    Given complexity of defamation cases, it is recommended to seek professional legal advice. You can contact us by clicking on the link below or alternatively you can send an email to avinashl@amklaw.com.au to discuss.

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