Bishop settles lawsuit with blogger

Well, better late than never….while this blog was offline, Bishop Bird’s lawsuit with David was settled.  David tells the story here.

As many of you will be aware, in February 2013 Bishop Michael Bird sued me for defamation of character. I was served on February 19th, five years to the day that my church, St. Hilda’s was served with papers to take possession of the church building and freeze our bank account.

The lawsuit has now been settled; hence the post beneath this one.

I thought it might be instructive to catalogue much of what has occurred between February last year and today.

In brief, the claim sought:

  • $400,000 in damages plus court costs and their legal costs.
  • An interim and permanent injunction to shut down Anglican Samizdat.
  • An interim and permanent injunction prohibiting me from publishing further comments about Michael Bird.

Here is a summary of what has happened:

2013
March
An initial attempt on my part to achieve an early settlement was rebuffed since I was unwilling to “put some money on the table.”

April
I filed my statement of defence.
I received the initial Discovery Plan from Bird’s lawyer and the Pleadings were closed.

May
The Hamilton Spectator published an article on the lawsuit.
The Anglican Journal published an article on the lawsuit.
The Church of England Newspaper, and various bloggers including VOL posted articles.

Following this publicity, I received a formal Offer to Settle which included:

  • I pay $50,000 damages plus Bird’s legal costs.
  • I remove the complained of posts.
  • I remove any other things I may have said that refer to Bird anywhere else on the Internet.
  • I cooperate in removing anything said about Bird by third parties anywhere on the Internet.

I responded with an offer to settle that included:

  • I remove the complained of posts.
  • We each pay our own legal fees.
  • I donate $5000 to World Vision in Michael Bird’s name.

There was no response to my offer.

October
After numerous delays, the Examination for Discovery took place.

Directly after Discovery, Bird’s lawyer made a new offer to settle:

  • I pay Michel Bird’s legal expense but no damages.
  • I publish an apology.
  • I remove the complained of posts.
  • I agree not to publish any similar posts about Michael Bird in the future.

Michael Bird’s legal expenses amounted to $24,000. I made a counter-offer of $12,000 in addition to the other items.

2014
January
Michael Bird’s lawyer made another offer of $18,000 for legal expenses in addition to the other items.

February
I decided that further financial haggling was infra dig, so I agreed to the terms.

I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this interesting episode.

There’s also an article in the Hamilton Spectator here.  What I found interesting was this quote:

“I am pleased that a settlement has now been reached and accept Mr. Jenkins’ full and public apology to me for the suffering he has caused,” Bird said. “I believe that the successful conclusion to this action sends a strong message to all who unjustly seek power over others through bullying behaviours.”

Clearly there needs to be an irony alert attached to that statement, coming from a Bishop in a position of power with many resources behind him, attempting to sue somebody out of the cost of their home.

 

 

 

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One Response to Bishop settles lawsuit with blogger

  1. Frank Wirrell says:

    I find it somewhat ironic when so-called bishop Michael Bird reported states “sends a strong message to all who unjustly seek power over others through bullying behaviour”. By his actions against orthodox Christians by driving them out of their buildings he has clearly demonstrated he is not a bishop regardless of the colour of his shirt or collar. The proper judgement would be against him and other apostates including the primate within the ACoC.

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