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26 Feb 2018 12:29
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Hagaman appeal against Little thrown out

    An attempt by the family of Earl Hagaman to take their defamation claim against former Labour Party leader Andrew Little to the Supreme Court has failed.


    The highest court in New Zealand has again dismissed claims by the family of the late Earl Hagaman that the hotelier was defamed by then-Labour leader Andrew Little.

    The Hagaman family sued Mr Little last year for more than $2 million over statements he made regarding a $100,000 donation to the National Party in 2014.

    The donation was made a month before Mr Hagaman's company, Scenic Hotel Group, was awarded a contract to operate Niue's Matavai luxury resort.

    A High Court jury cleared Mr Little of defaming Mrs Hagaman but was unable to reach a full decision in regard to two of the six of the claims made by her husband.

    Mr Hagaman died on May 25 last year.

    The case went to the Court of Appeal in November, but it was dismissed there, with the ruling given that the defamation claim had not survived Mr Hagaman's death and there was "no conclusive answer on that cause of action".

    In a decision released on Tuesday, justices Sian Elias, Mark O'Regan and Ellen France dismissed an application to have the case heard in the Supreme Court.

    Mrs Hagaman said that a special case should be made "for the benefit of [Mr Hagaman's] estate" but the judges disagreed.

    "We do not see this argument as having sufficient prospects of success to justify the grant of leave," the ruling said.

    Mr Little will receive costs of $2500 from the Hagamans.


    NZN




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