Ringside doctor John O’Neill has been awarded $385,000 in damages in a defamation case against the Sydney Morning Herald.
The court ruled he was defamed by a column written by Peter FitzSimons, which argued Anthony Mundine and Danny Green continued to fight in a boxing match supervised by O’Neill, despite one suffering “a bleeding brain.”
O’Neill who has been a ringside doctor for over thirty years sued Fairfax and Peter FitzSimons in the NSW supreme court over The Fitz Files columned, published in print and online on February 10 2017.
FitzSimon’s column referred to a punch by Mundine, which landed on Green’s head and caused him to stumble and briefly fall to the ground.
O’Neill examined Green who declared him fit to keep fighting after finding he wasn’t injured.
Days later, Green, after winning the match, had an MRI scan which found no significant difference from a scan he had two years prior.
Justice Lucy McCallum ruled the article, which used phrases such as “reckless ringside doctor”, “bleeding brain” and “risking his life”, defamed O’Neill and awarded the doctor $385K in damages.
McCallum ruled that a reader would easily infer from the article that O’Neill would have been “incompetent, negligent and reckless to allow the contest to continue”.
She declared the defamation “significant” and said O’Neill was entitled to “a substantial award of damages.”
O’Neill was awarded $350K in general damages and $35K in for aggravated damages due to the fact the doctor was not contacted for comment before the column was published the SMH did not issue an apology as requested.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, O’Neill said: “That was the whole principle behind this entire court case – it’s one’s good reputation.
Once that goes, you can’t get it back. And today, I got mine back.”
Please login with linkedin to commentPeter FitzSimons
New research into inspiration has been undertaken by the University of Sydney Business School and Richards Rose to produce ‘The Inspiration Code’ study. There has always been a need for inspiration. To lift our spirits higher – for a period of time or just for a moment. Given the times we live in, you could […]
Lotame today announced 10 leading data partners including DTScout and ShareThis will support Lotame Panorama ID, the first global, people-based, privacy-compliant and interoperable identity solution for a cookieless open web. Lotame is providing the industry with privacy-compliant solutions that allow data partners to capture data on the Panorama ID in cookieless environments (Safari, Firefox, and […]
The Oscars ceremony, streamed by American channel ABC, has officially sold out its commercial time. A number of this year’s advertisers will be new to the event. The commercial interest in the Oscars remains despite decreased yearly viewership, with the 2020 ceremony pulling a historic low of 23.6 million viewers. According to Variety, ABC was seeking US$2 […]
Less than 12 months after launching its short-form vertical video format, Instagram is bringing ads to Reels. In an announcement, Instagram revealed it would be testing ads on Reels in Brazil, Germany, and right here in Australia. The ads will be mobile-first, vertical and full-screen, similar to ads in Stories. As with organic Reels content, […]
Expedia has announced a new brand direction as the world prepares for the return of travel demand. The online travel giant’s new global positioning is grounded in the understanding that who you travel with matters, and comes after months of customer research. From an updated look and feel to enhanced product offerings, Expedia is looking […]