Alan Jones’ appeal after Wagner case
ALAN Jones, his employer and a Brisbane radio station are appealing against injunctions silencing Mr Jones from repeating defamatory statements about four Toowoomba brothers.
But Mr Jones, his employer Harbour Radio and Radio 4BC Brisbane have not appealed against orders that they pay them a total of $3.7 million in defamation damages, including interest.
They have filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal against 12 orders made by Supreme Court Justice Peter Flanagan on September 12 - all relating to injunctions.
Justice Flanagan ordered that Mr Jones, 2GB and 4BC be permanently restrained from publishing any of the matters complained of by Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner.
Justice Flanagan last month awarded the well known Toowoomba brothers a record $3,754,984 - $938,746 each, including interest, with costs to be decided.
Mr Jones and his radio station employer Harbour Radio Pty Ltd were ordered to pay the Wagners $750,000 each, as well as $78,102 interest, over his broadcasts on 2GB.
Mr Jones and Radio 4BC Brisbane were ordered to pay the brothers $100,000 each, plus $10,643 in interest.
The Wagner brothers had asked for permanent injunctions restraining Mr Jones and the radio stations from publishing or broadcasting the same or similar defamatory words about them.
The defendants had submitted that the injunctions were not warranted.
But Justice Flanagan said in his decision: "In light of the fact that Mr Jones, in the course of giving his evidence, chose to continue to attack the plaintiffs' reputations and to repeat many of the defamatory imputations, I am of the view that the injunctive relief sought is appropriate.''
In the notice of appeal, filed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, it is alleged Justice Flanagan failed to give adequate reasons for granting the permanent injunctions.
It is claimed he exercised his discretion to grant the injunctions when the evidence and conduct of Mr Jones, Harbour Radio and 4BC did not justify them.
Justice Flanagan "impermissibly or unreasonably restrained'' them and there were no grounds to make the injunction orders, it is alleged.
The application is asking for the orders to be set aside or varied.
In his decision, Justice Flanagan said Mr Jones conducted a "campaign of vilification'' against the Wagner brothers, motivated by a desire to injure their reputations.
Mr Jones claimed the Wagners were responsible for the deaths of 12 people, including two children, in the 2011 Grantham floods, when a bund at their quarry collapsed.
He called the Wagners selfish, insensitive grubs, hypocrites of the year and said they knew only two things - bullying and self-interest - the judge said.
"The defendants have refused to retract any of the defamatory imputations or to apologise,'' Justice Flanagan said.
"Mr Jones refused to apologise because he holds to his views.''
The judge found that 29 of 32 matters that the Wagners complained of contained defamatory imputations.
Justice Flanagan is still to decide on costs to be paid over the lengthy trial.