Palmer, mayor settle defamation case
CLIVE Palmer has ended a defamation lawsuit against Townsville mayor Jenny Hill after lawyers for the pair reached an agreement this morning.
It's unclear whether the mayor will be required to make a payment to the mining magnate and Queensland Nickel owner as part of the settlement.
Mr Palmer launched the suit in Brisbane Supreme Court earlier this year, alleging Cr Hill had made false and defamatory comments about him in a Courier-Mail article published in January.
In February, Mr Palmer's lawyers, in a legal notice of intention to claim damages, allege the comments included: "Here we've got a multi-millionaire and failed federal MP who has destroyed the lives of 900 people and nearly ruined our community''.
The legal letter also claims she stated: "He ripped the guts out of Queensland Nickel, left his workers out-of-pocket and out of a job, and has not paid millions of dollars owed.''
It said the statements intimated Mr Palmer had "benefited from the loss of employees" and that he was "consequently a criminal".
During a brief appearance in the Brisbane Supreme Court this morning, lawyers for Mr Palmer claimed a settlement had not been reached between the parties, despite sending a letter to Cr Hill's lawyers earlier this year accepting an offer.
In a fiery exchange, Justice Peter Applegarth questioned why an offer appeared to have been accepted by Mr Palmer's lawyers before later being rejected.
"How can you possibly apply for summary judgment when it's clear as clear can be there's an arguable compromise, if not an actual compromise," Justice Applegarth said.
"Your application for summary judgment is bound to fail."
During a brief adjournment, lawyers then came to an agreement outside of court with both agreeing to pay their own costs and discontinue the legal action.
It's unclear whether the agreement includes a monetary settlement and Jenny Hill has refused to comment.