Alan Jones found guilty of defamation, must pay $3.7 million in damages

2GB’s Alan Jones has been found guilty of defamation over comments made about Toowoomba brothers John, Denis and Joe Wagner.

The Wagner brothers alleged Jones wrongfully accused them of 12 deaths that occurred in 2011 during floods in Grantham when a wall of their Lockyer Valley quarry caved in.

Jones dropped his honest opinion defence back in June, and now the Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Peter Flanagan has ruled that he must pay $3.7 million in damages, as Fairfax reports.

The brothers, who were cleared of blame for the deaths by an official enquiry, were suing Jones, journalist Nick Cater, Harbour Radio and 4BC for $4.8 million.

The defamation proceedings against Cater were dismissed, but Justice Flanagan found that the 76 defamatory imputations brought before the court were “extremely serious”.

He said that 4BC and Jones failed to prove an imputation that the Wagner brothers had acted illegally, and therefore Jones, had engaged in unjustifiable conduct and was “motivated by a desire to injure.”

Flanagan also found that 2GB and 4BC were “vicariously liable” for Jones’ conduct.

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