A scathing Sydney Morning Herald restaurant review has cost publisher Fairfax $600,000 in legal damages.
Former restauranteurs were paid $623,526 in damages last week after a 2003 review of their Sydney establishment, Coco Roco, led to a dramatic decline in patronage.
The King St Wharf restaurant closed just six months after its extravagant opening, leaving owners Aleksandra Gacic, Ljiljana Gacic and Branislav Ciric distraught.
Food writer Matthew Evans’ urged potential patrons to stay at home and described the pork belly dish as “the porcine equal of a parched Weetbix”, according to a News.com.au report.
The Supreme Court verdict was handed down after a 10 year legal battle between the restauranteurs and publisher Fairfax.
The plaintiff’s said they sought an apology from the Sydney Morning Herald so they could rebuild the business, but this was refused and the review remained online.
Justice Peter Hall awarded each plaintiff $160,000 and ordered Fairfax to pay 3 per cent interest from the date of publication, equating to $207,842.19 each.