Sydney Educator Wins $240,000 In Defamation Case Against Centre Director

By April 08, 2019

Male Educator, Matthew Bowden, from Hubba Bubba Childcare Chatswood in Sydney's North Shore, sued his former Director for being defamed through an email which was sent to Parents claiming he was fired due to disciplinary reasons.

Mr Bowden, had resigned from his position after he couldn't balance his work and study commitments.

Director, Karen Chapman sent an email to 35 parents that also suggested that Mr Bowden had lied to her about his studies and other issues. In an email obtained by the ABC, Ms Chapman said "Whilst being good with the children in general, Matt was not truthful with us regarding his studies and some other issues, and I felt it was better for him to move on and possibly gain more life experience" and called another parent stating "Although Matt was really good with children... he couldn't be trusted".

When Mr Bowden found out about the email that the Director had sent he became withdrawn, anxious and depressed, needing to seek professional help.

He sued the childcare cente as well as the Director Ms Chapman, alleging the email which was sent to the Parents had defamed him. Mr Bowden's lawyers claimed that the email suggested that Mr Bowden was dishonest, untruthful, fored for disciplinary reasons and unfit to work in the industry.

Director Ms Chapman claimed that she fired Mr Bowden because he had lied about his qualification and babysitting children from the centre, defending the email.

Judge Levy awarded Mr Bowden $237,970.22 in compensation, which included his legal costs and aggravated and special damages.

Judge Levy also said that Ms Chapman had acted maliciously against Mr Bowden "Although the initial audience of the defendants' publication was limited, the group to which the defendants chose to send the emails was vital to the plaintiff's advancement in his chosen career,' Judge Leonard Levy said as reported by the ABC.

Reference:
As reported by Duff, Thomas "Childcare Worker, 21, Successfully Sues Nursery For $240,000 After His Boss Sent An Email Defaming Him To Parents", Daily Mail Australia, 6 April 2018