Denis Wagner released a statement on behalf of the four brothers.
Denis Wagner released a statement on behalf of the four brothers.

Wagners’ respond to Channel 9 defamation payout

DENIS Wagner on behalf of the four Wagner brothers released a statement on the defamation damages awarded by Justice Peter Applegarth today.

On September 6, 2019 a jury found that Channel 9 and Nick Cater had seriously defamed members of the Wagner family.

Today Justice Applegarth, of the Brisbane Supreme Court, handed down his judgment confirming the seriousness of those defamatory statements.

Justice Applegarth said Channel 9 had information which contradicted the allegations contained in the program but did not broadcast it.

"Mr Cater disregarded the evidence of an eye witness which undermined his story about the source of the wave he wrote and spoke about," added Justice Applegarth.

On behalf of the four Wagner brothers, Mr Denis Wagner, said it was deeply concerning that the Sixty Minutes program did not factually report all available information.

Neither Channel 9 nor Nick Cater apologised or attempted to correct the misinformation until after the jury determined the statements were seriously defamatory, Mr Wagner said.

"To compound the offensive nature of the program, the entire premise of the story 'the missing hour' has been determined to be false. While Sixty Minutes and Nick Cater alleged that the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry had incorrectly stated the time of the flood based on the Channel 9 helicopter logs, those logs have since been proven to be incorrect.

"As a family committed to Queensland and the Toowoomba region we will move forward knowing that when the media do not report in a fair and honest way, they can be held accountable.

"Unfortunately what will never change is the devastating impact of the Grantham floods and we offer our most sincere thoughts to all those that were impacted and affected," Mr Wagner said.