Former national table tennis champion and president of the SVG Table Tennis Association (SVGTTA) Sean Stanley has won a defamation suit he filed 10 years ago against BDS Limited’s NICE Radio, Carlos Maloney and Company Limited’s Cross Country Radio, sports commentator Justin Douglas and former secretary of the SVG Table Tennis Association (SVGTTA) Julian Sutherland.
The lawsuit arose out the content of a letter penned by Sutherland, dated August 28th, 2006, and addressed to the president of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Trevor Bailey.
Stanley contended that, as president of the SVGTTA, the letter referred to him and that it contained allegations which were defamatory.
The facts before the court are that Sutherland provided Douglas with a copy of the letter and Douglas read it on NICE Radio on August 29th, 2006. It was further read on Cross Country Radio.
The four defendants did not dispute the words contained in the letter but they, in their defenses, sought to rely on justification and fair comment in respect of Sutherland, Douglas, and NICE Radio and qualified privilege as the respect of Cross Country Radio.
Justice Nicola Byer in her January 15th, 2019, judgment, having found that the words complained of were and are defamatory of Stanley, ordered that damages be awarded to him against all the defendants and that they are to be assessed upon application by Stanley within 21 days of judgment date and the application to be responded to within 14 days thereafter.
She also ordered that the matter is to be listed before a Master of the High Court thereafter for trial directions
Justice Byer ordered that costs to Stanley are to be determined upon the completion of the assessment of damages duly undertaken.
Stanley was represented by Ronald Marks. Sutherland was represented by Bertram Commissiong Q.C who acted amicus curiae (friend of the court) for him; Douglas and NICE Radio were represented by Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, and Cross Country Radio was represented by Susanne Commissiong