The SST reports on how an American multinational timber company, Osmose, is suing Nick Smith and a local scientist for $15 million each. Nick has already had $300,000 in legal costs and it is likely his bills will reach $500,000. It is worth remembering this is costs to be met from after tax income. On an MPs salary, take home pay is only around $71,000 a year, so the cost is more than the entire take home pay for seven years.
The company of course has the right to take legal action if it thinks comments made were defamatory and hurt their business. They have to prove actual lost income to succeed (so I understand). But if as reported, the company is refusing any offer to settle, you wonder if the motivation is to destroy Nick and Dr Wakeling rather than have the record set straight and receive compensation.
Nick has been sued before – ironically for the first time by the Exclusive Brethren. But all the other cases have been won or settled.Tags: defamation, Nick Smith, Osmose