Devastating restaurant review results in monumental libel award
Here's a warning to anyone who gets their jollies tearing into restaurants.
Don't do it in Australia.
Especially if you plan to compare pork belly to Weetabix in a review that also rips into the "outstandingly dull" roast chicken and "soggy blackberries".
Matthew Evans included these descriptions and more in a Sydney Morning Herald review of a restaurant that subsequently went out of business.
Eleven years later, a New South Wales judge has issued a verdict imposing damages of more than $600,000 plus legal costs.
Evans moved to Tasmania and is no longer writing reviews.
It was remarkably similar to the size of a B.C. Supreme Court award in 2003 in connection with another scathing restaurant review, this time in Prince George.
In that ruling, Justice R.B.T. Goepel awarded the plaintiffs $633,423 in damages against Cariboo Press and Michelle Lang after the Prince George Free Press published an article entitled "Vomit serves up virus at buffet".
The restaurant later went kaput and blamed the newspaper article for its demise.