Faye & Bernard Leov to appeal judgment in Rai Valley School defamation case
Faye and Bernard Leov are appealing the judgment of the Blenheim High Court, delivered on 29 August 2017, which found them liable in defamation for the contents of a letter sent by Dunedin writer Susan Dunn in September 2012.
The Leovs are seeking to have the judgment set aside, including the Judge’s recommendation under the Defamation Act that required them to send a correction and apology to all those who received the letter and also publish that correction and apology in the Marlborough Express and Nelson Mail.
Wellington barrister Christopher Griggs, who is acting for Mr and Mrs Leov, said: “The appeal is based on what the appellants say are errors of fact and law in the High Court judgment.
“The letter at the centre of the defamation hearing was prepared and signed by Ms Dunn, not by Mr and Mrs Leov. Ms Dunn was an independent contractor – she was not the Leovs’ employee. She sent the letter at a time when Mrs Leov had told her not to. Despite that, the High Court found that Ms Dunn was the Leovs’ agent and held that they were liable as co-publishers of what she wrote. The Leovs say that was wrong in law and fact, which is the main reason they are appealing.”