Chatter amongst the members of the caravan and RV community exploded this weekend as news of the guilty verdict against Tracey Leigh circulated.
Bruder expedition P/L instigated proceedings against Mrs Leigh for what they claimed to be defamatory and malicious comments made about them and their products on her Facebook group, Lemon Caravans & RV’s in Aus.
In July of this year an order was made in the Brisbane District Court ordering Mrs Leigh, “do all such things as are necessary to remove any reference to the applicant, Bruder Expedition P/L, and the products sold by it on a Facebook page entitled “Lemon Caravans & RVs in Aus”.
Mrs Leigh was also restrained from publishing, causing to be published, encouraging, requesting or enabling to be published by any means whatsoever any statements, comments or images with respect to the applicant and the products sold by it.
After a 10 day trial concluded on Friday in the Brisbane District Court under trial judge Sheridan, a 4 person jury of her peers found Mrs Leigh had in fact engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, the very claim she often levels at caravan manufacturers, and was in fact guilty of injurious falsehood. Final orders, including damages quantum are to be finalised this coming Monday November 4th.
At this point it’s important to understand exactly what is injurious falsehood.
According to numerous sources, Injurious falsehood is ‘a lie that is spoken to others with malice, that is, the person making the claim knew it was false or would cause damage or harm’.
A lie that was spoken with malice! Let that sink in for a moment. Surely there’s no clearer an example of deceptive and misleading conduct.
Subsequent to the guilty verdict, which she was clearly unprepared for, Mrs Leigh immediately archived her Facebook group, stating “I have been instructed I can not say anything about the outcome of my trial”’ and went on to say, “Depending on the final orders I may not be able to say anything at all”.
Merely hours later, Mrs Leigh unarchived her group, obviously fearing the void left by her absence, and instead closed comments on all posts in the group. Not long after that a bizarre post referencing Mandela, MLK, and Eddie Marbo appeared on the group.
Was Mrs Leigh seriously comparing her ‘struggle’ to that of those legendary warriors of social change? Here’s a screenshot of the post, I’ll let you decide.
This post was quickly followed by a shout out for more money, a common theme in the group which funds Mrs Leigh’s legal fees with donations. It would appear from this post that Mrs Leigh intends to appeal the decision but as yet, had not elaborated on what legal grounds she will use to request leave to appeal.
A lot has happened since Friday and as time rolls on, Mrs Leigh has become more vocal, more emboldened, and more forthright. I’m unsure if the gag order put in place by Judge Sheridan in July is still in place, one would think so given the final orders of her guilty verdict have not yet been made, but it hasn’t stopped Mrs Leigh taking Bruder Expedition to task again on her Facebook group. Not only has she had another crack, she also opened it up to comments from her members.
One would assume the legal team for Bruder Expeditions would be monitoring for exactly this, if, in fact the gag order is still active. And if it is, there’s no clearer an example of contempt of court than naming and shaming Bruder in a renewed and vigorous attack.
So where to now for Mrs Leigh and the Lemon Caravans & RV’s in Aus Facebook group? I guess ‘watch this space’ would seem an appropriate course of action to all of us who have an interest in the outcome.
Cheers, safe travels