Defamation of medical practitioners

Following not long after another defamation claim brought by a medical practitioner, Stanton v Fell [2014] NSWCA 44 saw an appeal by Dr Stanton who was a specialist vascular surgeon holding an appointment as a Visiting Medical Officer (“VMO”) in the Vascular Surgery Unit of the Wollongong Hospital.

On 30 June 2011, Mr Nick Boyne, Deputy Chair of the Board of Vascular Surgery wrote to Dr Huber informing him that the Board had decided not to continue Wollongong Hospital’s accreditation as a training post for vascular surgery due to “political issues” within the Vascular Surgery Unit. Dr Stanton claimed that he was defamed in an email sent on 19 September 2011 to Dr Huber by Mr Gary Fell, who was the Chair of the Board.

The Court said at [10]:

Dr Stanton seeks to mount an appeal raising a large number of factual and evaluative issues in a case where he has no right of appeal but only a right to the grant of leave to appeal in the event that he establishes that his prospective appeal is out of the ordinary. In my view, he has not done this and his application for leave to appeal should be dismissed with costs.