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How far are courts prepared to go with social media and bullying

Robinson v Lorna Jane Pty Ltd [2017] QDC 266

Koppenol J District Court

3 November 2017

Background

Ms Robinson was a store manager employed by Lorna Jane. She alleged that she was bullied by the manager to whom she reported.

The bullying was said to include insinuations about her weight in the context of food that she was seen eating, unfair treatment in relation to hours of work, and comments on social media.

The case is not remarkable for any particular principle of law.

However it is a good example of how far a Court may be prepared to go to order disclosure of facebook material. In this case by requiring the Plaintiff to provide full access to the Defendant during trial.

This assisted in completely destroying any credibility the Plaintiff had left after other inconsistencies and untruths were found in her evidence. This included allegations about a prior work history that were proven to be false.

Judgement

The Judge, having then accepted the Defendant's witness, ie the alleged perpetrator of the bullying, dismissed the Plaintiff's claim. In addition, due to the findings that she had told lies and exaggerated to the various doctors, the Judge held there was no credible evidence that she had suffered any injury that would result in an award of damages.