woberto Report This Comment
Date: May 02, 2012 07:26AM
A former Commonwealth Bank business analyst ordered to pay almost $6 million in
legal fees after losing a sexual harassment suit against her former employer has
only a mobile phone and a computer to her name, a court has heard.
Vivienne Louise Dye sued the bank and its online broking arm, CommSec, for
sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the Federal Court, claiming
that two senior employees sexually harassed her.
In a scathing judgment in March, Justice Robert Buchanan found against Ms Dye,
describing her as a fantasist and liar who had a "venomous desire for
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She was ordered to pay the bank's $5.85 million legal costs on an indemnity
basis, meaning the bank can recover all its costs, rather than the two-thirds
Ms Dye has launched an appeal based in part on Justice Buchanan's conduct during
the 94-day trial.
CBA has asked the Federal Court in Sydney to issue a security for costs order
before the appeal begins, arguing Ms Dye is unlikely to be able to pay the
bank's legal fees if she loses.
In a directions hearing this morning, Ms Dye's barrister, Peter King, said his
client's only assets were a mobile phone and personal computer.
Mr King admitted that Ms Dye would "probably" be unable to pay the
bank's legal fees if the appeal was dismissed.
"How is there any doubt about it?" Justice Arthur Emmett said.
"They couldn't be worth more than $2000 at the most".
Mr King replied: "Lots of things could happen between now and
Justice Emmett said Ms Dye "could win the lottery" but what mattered
was her current financial situation.
Mr King said if the court granted the security for costs application it was
unlikely Ms Dye could go ahead with the appeal.
The matter was stood over until June 13.
In the primary judgment, Justice Buchanan found the two men Ms Dye accused,
Michael Blomfield and Angus Patterson, were "blameless" and the
allegations were "completely fabricated".
In fact, it was Ms Dye who made advances towards Mr Blomfield, hoping for a
"close and intimate relationship" with him, Justice Buchanan
When Mr Blomfield, then the executive general manager in charge of local
business banking, rebuffed her, Ms Dye "turned from seeking his attention
to a desire to be revenged on him".
Mr Patterson testified that, in 2007, Ms Dye told him she was taking out a
sexual harassment case against Mr Blomfield, saying: : ''I'm going to get that
c---, and I'm going to f---ing destroy him and his family.''
When Mr Patterson, who was her friend and confidant, declined to assist her
against Mr Blomfield, Ms Dye turned on him, claiming Mr Patterson violently
sexually assaulted her.
Justice Buchanan said the "sad and distressing saga" had involved 94
days of oral hearings, 600 documentary exhibits and nearly 8000 pages of
transcript, and, despite his judgment vindicating the men, the "stain"
on their reputation would be impossible to remove.
"The allegations against them were false. They should not have been made.
They should not have been pursued," he said.
Both Mr Patterson and Mr Blomfield have since left Commonwealth Bank and Justice
Buchanan congratulated the bank for fighting to clear their names, rather than
taking the cheaper option to settle the case.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2012 07:27AM by woberto.
Anon Report This Comment
Date: May 02, 2012 04:53PM
I think your right Blah!!!, You know she could EARN that money she owes. But
then again maybe not.