Published March 05, 2014
A student in Australia has to pay $100,000 in damages for defamation of a music teacher after posting messages about her on Twitter and Facebook.
According to The Telegraph, Andrew Farley, 20, the son of Orange High Schooll's head of the music and arts department, wrote defamatory messages about Christine Mickle, 58, who replaced Farley's father.
Andrew Farley reportedly had never been taught by Mickle, but posted messages in 2012 suggesting she was responsible for his father leaving the school, the report said.
Farley's father stepped down in 2008 for health reasons.
"For some reason it seems that the defendant bears a grudge against the plaintiff, apparently based on a belief that she had something to do with his father leaving the school," district court judge Michael Elkaim said. "There is absolutely no evidence to substantiate that belief."
According to The Telegraph, the court ruled the social media messages had a "devastating effect" on Mickle, who took a leave of absence, before returning to work on a limited basis.
Farley reportedly ignored a letter from Mickle's attorneys in November 2012 and only removed the comments after receiving an additional letter the following month.