High Court Orders Doctor To Pay Fine, Close To $100K

Dr Buimaitotoya was a tenant in a property, which was held by Dr Sharma through a trust.
15 May 2019 14:09
High Court Orders Doctor To Pay Fine, Close To $100K
In the spotlight... Dr Isireli Biumaitotoya.

A Nadi-based doctor has been ordered by High Court to pay another medical professional $70,000 in general damages and $29,400 in interest for defaming the latter in an email message.

Doctor Isireli Biumaitotoya, who is also known as Leli Darling on his very popular Facebook page, defamed his former landlord Dr Uma Sharma when he emailed lies about Dr Sharma to 144 doctors.

Dr Buimaitotoya was a tenant in a property, which was held by Dr Sharma through a trust.

After Dr Sharma evicted Dr Biumaitotoya, the latter emailed other doctors lies that Dr Sharma’s property may go into receivership and that Dr Sharma was a landlord from hell.

This matter was first filed at the High Court in Lautoka in 2012. Justice Jude Nanayakkara delivered his ruling on this on May 7.

Dr Sharma had asked that Dr Biumaitotoya vacate the premises. He also filed two cases to recover unpaid rent from Dr Biumaitotoya. After vacating the premises, Dr Biumaitotoya emailed 144 other doctors dissuading them from renting the premises. That office space is still empty to date.

Dr Biumaitotoya had also claimed that he would sue Dr Sharma for damages in the same email, but nothing had eventuated at that time.

The court ruled that the contents of the email were false, malicious, and lies.

Details of Dr Sharma’s personal life was also shared in the email by Dr Biumaitotoya.

“From the circumstances in which the words were uttered an inference of deliberate and calculated view to prejudice or impute blame to the plaintiff (Dr Sharma) can easily be drawn. Therefore, the conduct of the defendant (Dr Biumaitotoya) had been high-handed, insolent, vindictive or malicious. He had exhibited a “contumelious” disregard of the plaintiff’s (Dr Sharma’s) rights.

The order:

  • That Dr Biumaitotoya pay $70,000 is general damages within 14 days from May 7;
  • That Dr Sharma is entitled to six per cent simple interest per annum on $70,000 from the date of filing of the writ (2012), which comes to an additional $29,400;
  • That Dr Sharma is entitled to 4 per cent simple interest on $70,000 from the date of the judgment of the court until payment is made in full; and
  • That Dr Sharma can file further claims under indemnity costs.

Edited by Epineri Vula


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