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Aussie Critic Wins Defamation Suit With "Defensible" Review

Down in Australia, a defamation case involving the local restaurant critic and the restaurant that he tore to shreds is finally over after six years. First, some background: in 2003, Sydney Morning Herald critic Matthew Evans dropped the hammer on a restaurant called Coco Roco. Six months after the harsh review, the restaurant closed and then sued Evans (and the newspaper) for defamation. Now, a Supreme Court judge has found that the critic's smackdown was "entirely defensible" because it was an honest opinion, and thus the restaurant is not entitled to damages. But perhaps best of all is the judge's reminder of how bad the critic's meal was:

Quoth the Supreme Court judge:

''I accept Mr Evans' description of the parmesan cheese, the hard sorbet, the dry pork and the sherry-scented white sauce with apricots, the wilting and yellow salad leaves, the starchy lentils, the sticky sweet below average broth and the overcooked flavourless potatoes as some examples of poor quality food ... A seafood foam that tasted like reflux could not be excluded from this group.''
Ouch. Also, the jury decided that the plaintiffs were "incompetent as restaurant owners because they employed a chef who made poor quality food."

The plaintiffs are considering an appeal. Let it go, guys.
· Bad review was 'entirely defensible' [SMH]

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