Her ‘entire future exploded’: Parent’s desperate act
A PARENT being sued for defamation by a Gold Coast high school principal has fought back tears in court as she told how the stress of the lawsuit caused her to try to take her own life "to set my family free".
Mother-of-two Laura Lawson was one of eight parents sued by long-serving Tamborine Mountain State High principal Tracey Brose for more than $1 million in a landmark legal action.
Mrs Brose has alleged the parents defamed her in social media posts after she was mysteriously suspended from duty in early 2016 before being reinstated several months later.
The reasons for her suspension have never been publicly revealed.
On the fourth week of a defamation trial in Southport District Court, an emotional Ms Lawson told how legal papers stating that she was being sued for $150,000 arrived two days after her 25-year marriage collapsed.
"My world has not been the same since," she told the court. "My entire future exploded at that point and I was terrified."
Ms Lawson told the court a back injury had left her unable to work, bed-ridden and wheelchair-bound.
She said that after an argument with her husband in June 2016, "I decided it was all too much'.
"I decided to set my family free," she said.
Ms Lawson said she wrote notes to her children and texted her husband where to find them.
"I said goodbye and I took all the (morphine) tablets," she said.
Ms Lawson said her husband called an ambulance after receiving the text and she was taken to hospital.
"The doctors said they had never seen anyone survive that amount of morphine," she said.
Ms Lawson said she was "terrified" at how she was going to be able to pay Mrs Brose the $150,000 and pleaded with her lawyers: "If your client had any compassion you'll release me."
But she said the lawyers tried to stop the sale of the house and demanded a copy of the contract.
Other parents being sued by Mrs Brose have told the court that the principal's lawyers also put a writ on the sale of their property.
The court has been told that several parents have already settled with Mrs Brose for a total of more than $180,000.