GUNNS’ COURT CASE AGAINST HOBART DOCTOR SETTLES! Friday, 9 October 2009 Statement by Dr Frank Nicklason I was sued by Gunns on 13 December 2004 along with 19 others in the now infamous “Gunns20” case. Gunns sought $250,000.00 in damages from me and a total of $525,000.00 from myself and others for comments I made and a media release issued by Doctors for Forests in relation to potential health risks of the Burnie woodchip piles. The case against me was dropped in April 2007 and I exited the Gunns20 case. Gunns were ordered to pay costs in the order of $150,000.00 during their failed attempt to sue me as part of the Gunns20. I was sued again in April 2007, this time on my own. I was sued for defamation in relation to the same comments. That case was settled today on the basis that I send a letter to Gunns in relation to the comments I made. I have not agreed to pay any money to Gunns for damages or any of their legal fees. The letter I have agreed to send was carefully drafted in the course of the settlement discussions. I have apologised for making the statement in relation to health risks associated with the woodchip piles. I have made this apology because I accept I should have approached the company with my concerns directly before going public. However, the public health concerns which motivated my action then, remain a concern for me. I am out of pocket in the order of $80,000.00 to my former solicitor in defending this case. This is on top of the legal costs recouped from Gunns. An enormous amount of stress has also been placed on my family and myself. As a medical practitioner, however, I felt obliged to raise this public health issue that was brought to my attention by Burnie residents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my legal team Julian Burnside QC, Laurence Maher, Vanessa Bleyer, Brooke Caddell and Adam Beeson and those many friends and colleagues who have supported me in this case and in particular the Australian Medical Association and Royal Australian College of Physicians.