60 Minutes story at centre of Qld defamation case

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Nine’s annual legal bill could take another hit as 60 Minutes is at the centre of a defamation case.

Queensland’s prominent Wagner family is suing over a 60 Minutes story on the 2011 Grantham floods.

The Australian reports the family alleges the program implies the Wagner family was responsible for the deaths of 12 people during the ‘inland tsunami’ that devastated the town.

But yesterday Supreme Court judge David Boddice struck out parts of the family’s statement of claim yesterday, including that the broadcast had alleged the family “caused the deaths of 12 people” and that the broadcast showed the family had “disgracefully refused to answer the public.”

But he refused Nine’s bid to strike out the allegation its broadcast accused the family of seeking to conceal the truth about the role the quarry played in the flood.

Last week Nine said its annual legal bill was $7 million higher than a year earlier, due in part to the 60 Minutes saga in Lebanon, plus a stoush with regional broadcaster WIN over live-streaming services and with Seven over its Hotplate case.

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