The Herald reports:
Nelson MP Nick Smith says he is “delighted” a $15 million defamation lawsuit against him has been settled out of court.
“It’s been a very draining five years. The settlement involved some payment but was less than the legal costs would have been for the scheduled six week hearing,” Dr Smith said outside court. …
Counsel for the parties appeared in the High Court today to announce an agreement had been reached, but the terms were confidential.
Dr Smith said that no public money was involved in the settlement.
Having a $15 million lawsuit hang over you would be no easy thing. Most defamation suits will punish but not destroy you. This suit would have, if successful, bankrupted Nick. No money, no house to live in, no job.
So it must be a great relief to have it settled. I don’t know the terms of the settlement of course but even the fact there has been one is significant because my understanding is Smith and Wakeling had been prepared to settle years ago, but the Plaintiff insisted on a day in court. However a recent case in appellate courts made the burden of proof harder for the plaintiff, so this may have helped encourage a settlement.Tags: defamation, Nick Smith, Osmose