Dustin Martin’s manager Ralph Carr is facing a defamation battle after he posted to social media “corruption” allegations criticising the Daniel Andrews government’s handling of the botched hotel quarantine program.
Mr Carr is being sued by former Victorian Labor Party vice president Henry Pinskier after the celebrity agent made posts to Twitter and LinkedIn earlier this year.
According to the writ filed by Dr Pinskier’s lawyers in the Victorian Supreme Court, on September 22 during the inquiry into the bungled hotel quarantine program, he tweeted a screenshot of comments by another user.
The tweet by user @RohanCT read: “Watching the Victorian debate in parliament. So it turns out Henry Pinskier’s company was awarded the hotel quarantine security tender without a formal tender. He is a factional member of the Macnamara ALP branch and his daughter works for Daniel Andrews.”
It’s alleged that Mr Carr, under the handle @RalphCarrRCM, added: “This Pinskier guy also got the face recognition contract in Victoria … Andrews corruption at its best”.
According to the court documents, the tweet defamed him because it implied he “was responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak from hotel quarantine in Victoria, and thereby caused the second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria”.
The writ also argued that it could be understood to mean that Dr Pinskier “acted improperly in obtaining the hotel security contract for hotel quarantine in Victoria in that he used his influence in the Labor Party and his daughter’s employment with the Premier”.
The writ also alleges that Mr Carr made similar claims in a LinkedIn post in which he posted a screenshot of the same tweet.
It’s also claimed that around November, Mr Carr wrote a further LinkedIn post in which he made reference to Mr Pinskier and contained the hashtags “#corruption”, “#nepotism” and “#pinskierfamily”.
Dr Pinskier is seeking aggravated damages, claiming he has suffered injury to his personal and professional reputation as well as “hurt, distress, embarrassment and humiliation”.
The lawsuit claims Mr Carr did not believe the posts were true or had a “reckless indifference as to whether the imputations conveyed by them were true or false”.
As well as damages, interest and legal costs, Dr Pinskier is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Mr Carr from making any future posts that contain allegedly defamatory imputations.
Dr Pinskier is the co-owner of Medi7, along with his brother Nathan, which was awarded contracts to provide medical services during the first month of the hotel quarantine program.
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