Missing Apostrophe in a Facebook Post lands man in Defamation Case

Chaini Parwani –

Published On: October 13, 2021 at 09:55 IST

A Real Estate Agent Anthony Zadravic in Australia was booked for a defamation case against him after he missed an apostrophe in a Facebook post.

In his post last year, Anthony Zadravic had accused Stuart Gan, his former employer at a real estate agency, of not paying retirement funds to all the agency’s workers. 

In the same post, the word ‘employees’ was highlighted as inappropriate.

The post read: “Oh Stuart Gan!! Selling multi-million $ homes in Pearl Beach but can’t pay his employees superannuation,” referring to Australia’s retirement system, in which money is paid by employers into super accounts for employees. 

Further Zadravic quotes: “Shame on you Stuart!!! 2 yrs and still waiting!!!” Later Zadravic deleted the post in less than 12 hours, which was published on October 22, 2020.

Further when Gan became aware of the message and filed a defamation claim against Zadravic.

Furthermore, a Judge in New South Wales observed that “The lack of apostrophe on the word employees could be read to suggest a ‘systematic pattern of conduct’ by Gan’s agency rather than an accusation involving one employee.” 

Hence, the Judge allowed the case to proceed. Neither Zadravic’s lawyers nor Gan’s responded to requests for comment.

In matters of punctuation, social media is the Wild West. In some corners of the internet, careless grammar is highly tolerated — even a badge of honour. 

It was highlighted that in legal matters, however, disputed punctuation can cost millions. 

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