Mirabella vs. the Benalla Ensign Damages Awarded
$300,000 is the end figure that the Benalla Ensign will have to pay in the defamation case won by Sophie Mirabella, once the court order and Ms. Mirabella's legal fees are taken into account.
The Border Mail has reported the paper and the then Editor, Libby Price, would also be liable for interest on the court order of $175,000 from the date Ms. Mirabella launched the action and its final resolution.
49 year old Ms. Mirabella was awarded the amount following a lawsuit taken on the paper for printing an article during the 2016 election which said Ms. Mirabella had pushed the now Member for Indi Cathy McGowan during a photo opportunity.
Ms. Mirabella denied the claim and took legal action.
The Border Mail reports that Ms. Mirabella was grateful that her name had been cleared. The jury of 5 had taken only 45 minutes to come to a verdict.
The paper also reported that Judge McNamara, when passing down the judgment earlier in the Wangaratta County Court, found that Ms. Mirabella had been wronged in the article and had suffered damages to her reputation.
Former district Politician; Sophie Mirabella was awarded $175,000 in damages, after successfully launching a defamation case against the Benalla Ensign.
The Judge arrived almost in the middle of the two assessments of damages by the Parties – The newspaper calling for less than $100,000, and Mrs Mirabella’s Barrister asking for more than $300,000.