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Pisasale launches $150K defamation suit against Garry Duffy

Gary Duffy
Gary Duffy Contributed

REJECTED mayoral candidate Gary Duffy will face a bigger challenge than on polling day after a defamation suit was filed against him for a litany of comments he made during the local government election.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale's legal team filed the defamation suit against Gary Norman Duffy and his wife Cornelia Turni on Thursday in the Brisbane District Court.

Mr Pisasale is seeking $100,000 in general compensatory damages and a further $50,000 in aggravated compensatory damages.

Mr Pisasale is also seeking an injunction restraining Mr Duffy and Ms Turni, or their agents, from continuing to publish, further publishing or causing to be published any defamatory remarks about him via any forms of recognised media.

Mr Duffy and Ms Turni are set to be served with the paperwork this weekend.

The Queensland Times further understands other people are preparing to launch similar defamation claims against the couple.

In court documents, which the Queensland Times has exclusively obtained, Mr Pisasale claims Mr Duffy and Ms Turni defamed him on 13 occasions between October 26, 2015 and March 21, 2016 via posts made on their social media accounts.

Mr Pisasale, in the 43 page statement of claim, says Mr Duffy and Ms Turni's unsubstantiated allegations claim he was corrupt, untrustworthy, lacking integrity, dishonest and was involved in money laundering activities.

"These publications have caused damage to the plaintiff (Mr Pisasale) in both his personal and professional reputations," it said.

"It has caused substantial hurt, distress and embarrassment to the plaintiff and his family.

"It has the potential to expose him to contempt or ridicule and to lower the plaintiff in the minds of right thinking members of the community."

Mr Pisasale, in the statement of claim, goes on to say the compensatory damages for defamation was to vindicate his reputation against the unfounded allegations Mr Duffy and Ms Turni had made.

"Compensate him for the distress and the embarrassment caused by the publication of the serious imputations conveyed," the claim said.

"Be sufficient to convince any person to whom the imputations were, or are published, or republished, of the baselessness of those imputations.

"Provide reparation for the damage to the plaintiff's reputation."

The statement of claim also provides detailed information on numerous social media posts, blogs, images, memes, imputations and website posts for each of the 13 occasions Mr Pisasale claims he was defamed.

Mr Duffy and Ms Turni will now have 28 days to respond to the defamation suit filed against them.

Mr Pisasale's defamation suit comes on the back of separate one his daughter, Lisa Pisasale, filed last month against Mr Duffy claiming he defamed her on two separate occasions.

Ms Pisasale is also seeking $150,000 in damages arising from comments Mr Duffy made on October 23, 2015 via his social media account which falsely implied she was seeking to benefit from her family relationship with the mayor.

Mr Duffy indicated in court documents filed last week he would defend Ms Pisasale's claim and went on to say he will not apologise or remove any of the published material.

Mr Pisasale told the Queensland Times earlier this week, before the the defamation suit was filed, that if he was successful in any law suit he would donate any compensation he received to charity.

Topics:  defamation editors picks gary duffy ipswich-council-elections mayor paul pisasale


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