Leading cosmetic surgeon takes legal action to stop ABC’s 4 Corners program

A prominent cosmetic surgeon, who has clinics in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in an attempt to block ABC’s flagship program 4 corners to broadcast a program on him next Monday.

According to his website, Daniel Lanzer is a dermatologist “with a personal interest in cosmetic surgery”. He also boasts of pioneering certain liposuction techniques.

Cosmetic surgeon Daniel Lanzer

Dr Lanzer’s lawyers have requested an interlocutory injunction to prevent ABC from broadcasting the program until the case can be fully considered in court.

The Federal Court saw graphic images of operations, including that of Dr. Lanzer performing a “tummy tuck” in which he was seen slicing a woman’s abdomen and cutting off fat.

Dr Lanzer regularly posts details of his surgeries on his social media accounts, the court said. His lawyers said his clinic had 20 million subscribers on various social media accounts, including TikTok and Instagram.

The court heard that Dr Lanzer learned that two former employees had helped 4 corners in their investigation. Bruce McClintock, SC, representing Dr Lanzer, argued that the couple violated confidentiality agreements and “no-denigration” clauses in employment contracts they signed while working for the surgeon.

Dr Matthew Collins, QC, for the ABC, argued that Dr Lanzer’s claims were vague and imprecise and that there was no defensible argument for a breach of contract by the two former employees.

In question, a photo and a video that the couple had provided to the journalist Adele Ferguson. Dr Collins said the broadcaster agreed not to broadcast this material. He also said the ABC has guaranteed that it will not release any confidential patient information.

Although no details were given on the content of the planned program, Dr Collins said it was in the public interest for the program to be broadcast.

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