Nicholas Polias Wins $340,000 After Successfully Suing Former Friends For DefamationPublished on 2014-11-29 06:14:00
According to the Sydney Morning Herald (link below), Australian poker player Nicholas Polias won a defamation payout of $340,000 after successfully suing four of his former friends.
The story starts like this. Polias and one of his friends, Tobin "Toby" Ryall, were sharing a hotel room in Las Vegas. There was a reported $2,000 lying on the dressing table in the hotel room that belonged to Ryall. The $2,000 reportedly went missing - Ryall alleged that Polias stole the money from him, while Polias, via a Facebook post and subsequent court testimony, claimed that the money was hidden inside of a "soft toy" the entire time.
After hearing that his reputation was being sullied over the incident, Polias took to Facebook to post his side of the events. A number of people, including Ryall and Andy Hun Wei Lee, posted responses that painted Polias as a thief. Other alleged incidents were also brought up in the Facebook comments by Lee and others.
Polias, worried that his reputation would be trashed in the poker community, ended up suing four people (Ryall, Lee, Sandy Jan and Rhys Gould) for defamation after the disparaging comments were left online.
The judge in the case, NSW Supreme Court Justice Stephen Rothman, ended up siding with Polias, awarding a total of $340,000 in damages. The judge also granted an injunction that will bar the defendants from continuing to "publish the defamatory imputations".
The list of damages that must be paid looks like this:
Andy Hun Wei Lee, $130,000
Tobin Ryall, $125,000
Sandy Jan, $50,000
Rhys Gould, $35,000
The judge was particularly hard on Andy Hun Wei Lee as he labelled his conduct "vicious and malicious".
Source: SMH.com.au - Facebook posts on Vegas poker trip lead to $340,000 defamation payout for Nicholas Polias
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