Channel Nine 'sorry' for defaming Wagner brothers
CHANNEL Nine has apologised to one of Queensland's richest families for implying they caused the deadly 2011 Grantham floods.
Nine's barrister Rob Anderson read a short apology in Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday afternoon, a few hours after a jury ruled the network and journalist Nick Cater defamed Toowoomba's Wagner family.
Grantham was devastated in 2011 when a huge wall of water swept through the town, killing 12 people including two children.
Some four years later, Nine's 60 Minutes program aired "The Missing Hour" by journalists Mr Cater and Michael Usher.
It implied the collapse of Lockyer Valley quarry wall, owned by the Wagners, resulted in a "man-made catastrophe" and ultimately cost 12 lives.
Denis, John, Neill and Joe Wagner are suing Mr Cater and Nine, TCN Channel Nine, Queensland Television, WIN Television Queensland, and Nine MSN, where the material was broadcast, for defamation.
Giving evidence before Justice Peter Applegarth, Denis Wagner described the apology as "hollow".
"There has been no apology for the statements or the untruths that were made in the program," Mr Wagner said.
"It has been four years since the inquiry (cleared us) and Nine could have acknowledged in that time that the program was untruthful.
"Yet they persisted in defending this case and they have - until recently - stood by their truth defence.
"I find it very offensive to offer an apology like that."
The case will be held over until a future date. - NewsRegional