Tasmanian timber giant Gunns Ltd has to pay two Greens politicians it wants to sue nearly $70,000 in legal fees, reported The Courier-Mail (10 August 2006 p5). The Victorian Supreme Court on 9 August assessed what Gunns owed Australian Greens leader Bob Brown and Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt following the striking out of writs against the pair last year.
Two high profiles out of 20 defendants: Senator Brown and Ms Putt are among 20 environmentalists and groups being sued by Gunns over alleged protest activities.
Confusion reigns in courtroom: Two statements of claim lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court by Gunns have already been thrown out of court. Defendants had argued the document was so unclear it was impossible to-know what they had to respond to.
Round three decision pending: The judge hearing the case described parts of the claim as "unintelligible" and legally "embarrassing". A third statement of claim is before the court. Defendants have applied to have the 66,000-word claim thrown out and are waiting on a decision.
Gunns feeling it in hip pocket: The court assessed that Gunns owed Senator Brown and Ms Putt $69,385 for their legal costs fighting the first writs. It also assessed Gunns owed fellow defendant Helen Gee $17,544 for her legal costs. Costs for the remaining 17 defendants are yet to be determined.
Still being damaged financially – by court costs: Gunns alleges the defendants engaged in actions which damaged it financially and is seeking damages of $6.9 million. It lodged its first claim against the defendants in December 2004.
The Courier Mail, 10/8/2006, p.5 Mercury
Source: Erisk Net