The Queensland Court of Appeal has ruled against Patricia Petersen who tried to sue a former State MP for $6.8 million. Picture: Annette Dew
The Queensland Court of Appeal has ruled against Patricia Petersen who tried to sue a former State MP for $6.8 million. Picture: Annette Dew

Court ends long-running $6.8m state election lawsuit

A BITTER $6.8 million lawsuit that began eight years ago during the state election has ended today in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

Patricia Petersen sued former State Labor MP for Ipswich Rachel Nolan, claiming her old political rival seized her campaign signs in the lead-up to the 2012 Queensland state election.

Dr Petersen was running as an independent candidate when she alleged Ms Nolan used her position of power to have Ipswich City Council remove her election signs and issue her a fine.

Rachel Nolan became Queensland’s youngest female MP at 26 when she was elected as member for Ipswich in 2001. Picture: Mark Cranitch.
Rachel Nolan became Queensland’s youngest female MP at 26 when she was elected as member for Ipswich in 2001. Picture: Mark Cranitch.

Over the years, Dr Petersen amended her statement of claim seven times to include $3.42 million for misfeasance, $1.5 million of lost earning capacity and $800,000 in lost earnings.

She also claimed she was owed $1 million in aggravated damages and a combined $200,000 for loss of liberty, indignity and the damage caused to her reputation.

In September 2019, the Brisbane Supreme Court ruled against Dr Petersen and ordered her to pay Ms Nolan’s costs.

Serial candidate Patricia Petersen also ran in the 2013 Noosa mayoral elections. Picture: Glenn Barnes
Serial candidate Patricia Petersen also ran in the 2013 Noosa mayoral elections. Picture: Glenn Barnes

Justice Glenn Martin said the case was “doomed to fail” and should never have been brought.

Dr Petersen took the decision to the Queensland Court of Appeal arguing that she had been denied justice.

Dr Petersen claimed that the Supreme Court court judgment published online had got it wrong by denying her the opportunity to re-plead or respond to some relevant material.

She was also upset that she was outside the courtroom and was not called back in when the Supreme Court handed down its decision.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal ruled against Dr Petersen and found no errors with the Supreme Court’s decision last year.

“Whether Dr Petersen was present or not made no difference whatsoever to the making of the orders that were set out …” Justice Debra Mullins said.

Dr Petersen was ordered to pay Ms Nolan’s costs of the appeal. – NewsRegional



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