AFTERMATH: The clean-up begins after the devastating 2011 Grantham flood.
AFTERMATH: The clean-up begins after the devastating 2011 Grantham flood. FILE

Judge finds Channel 9 didn't say Wagners caused Grantham

THE Wagner family's defamation case against Channel 9 has been dealt a blow with a Supreme Court judge ruling the story in question did not necessarily imply the Wagners were "responsible" for a quarry wall breaking during the 2011 floods.

Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner have sued Channel 9 for comments made in a 60 Minutes story that they claim implied a Wagner quarry was responsible for the 2011 Grantham flood.

The Wagners alleged the program claimed they were "responsible for the catastrophic flood which devastated the town of Grantham and killed 12 people, including an infant child, in that the enormous wall at his quarry burst, unleashing an unprecedented inland tsunami into the town" and that they "tried to hide (their) responsibility".

But Channel 9 claimed the word "responsible" was ambiguous.

Supreme Court Justice David Boddice on Thursday agreed with Channel 9 and ruled the program did not necessarily imply the Wagners were "responsible" for the wall bursting.

He ruled two paragraphs of the Wagners claim be struck out and they be given the "liberty to replead" the case.

"There is no allegation in the broadcast that the plaintiffs constructed the wall in question. There is no statement at all as to when the wall was constructed, and by whom. There is also no allegation in the broadcast that the wall had been built deficiently or illegally," he ruled.

Justice Boddice said he would hear from the parties at a later date about how costs and how the matter should proceed. - ARM NEWSDESK


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