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Libel Email Costs University $220,000

Libel Email Costs University $220,000

Poor Dr. Tom McMaster. All the lecturer in business management at Salford University wanted to do was sail his boat to a conference in Galway, Ireland, rather than fly. Little did he imagine that it would all end up in court.

He had the university’s permission to travel that way, and so he submitted an expense claim for $360. But, according to Vnunet, the accounts department responded:

"Clearly the original claim was an attempted fraud and appropriately rejected.”

"Those who submitted and certified it should be ashamed of themselves."

However, the reply didn’t just go to Dr. McMaster but also to others in his department – and that’s what constituted the libel. If it had been sent to him alone, there would have been no case.

Wanting to clear his name, Dr. McMaster took the university to the High Court. The university attempted to have the case dismissed, but when that didn’t happen, they settled out of court for $20,000, but still face up to $200,000 in legal costs.

A Salford University spokesman would only say:

"The university has reached a settlement with Dr McMaster and we cannot comment on any outstanding grievance issues concerning him."

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