A real estate agent may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars after an alleged missed apostrophe.
Anthony Zadravic ranted against his former boss online, accusing him of withholding pensions.
Zadravic wrote "employees" instead of "employee's," and the former boss sued him for defamation.
An Australian real estate agent's Facebook tirade against his former employer may wind up costing him tens of thousands of dollars after an alleged missed apostrophe led to a defamation suit.
According to The New York Times, in October 2020, Anthony Zadravic posted on Facebook and accused his former boss Stuart Gan of withholding retirement fund payments.
Zadravic said in his defense that post was reportedly meant to be personal, but instead of "employee's," he wrote, "employees."
"Oh Stuart Gan!! Selling multi million $ homes in Pearl Beach but can't pay his employees superannuation," Zadravic wrote, in reference to Australia's pension funds. "Shame on you Stuart!!! 2 yrs and still waiting!!!"
According to The Times, Zadravic took down the post within 12 hours, but his former employer had already seen it and filed a defamation suit against Zadravic.
Last Thursday, Judith Gibson, a New South Wales judge, allowed the suit to proceed, meaning that Zadravic could pay a high price for his alleged grammatical gaffe.
According to the report, Gibson said that a trial could cost Zadravic over $180,000 based on legal precedents.
"The difficulty for the plaintiff is the use of the word 'employees' in the plural. To fail to pay one employee's superannuation entitlement might be seen as unfortunate; to fail to pay some or all of them looks deliberate," Gibson wrote in her judgment, acknowledging that Zadravic claimed he made a mistake.
Still, Gibson wrote that the alleged error could insinuate a "systematic pattern of conduct," by the former employer.
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