The litigation is part of Lehrmann’s continuing attack against media reporting of Higgins’ rape claims.
The case against the ABC relates to a joint address by Higgins and former Australian of the Year Grace Tame at the National Press Club, which was aired by the broadcaster in February 2022.
During the speech, Higgins mentioned the night she was allegedly assaulted.
Though the address never refers to Lehrmann by name, his lawyers claim the speech defamed him by inviting readers to speculate about the identity of the person accused.
The case makes three separate complaints aimed at the different channels that aired the speech: the ABC Youtube, ABC News 24 and the main ABC channel.
Cumulatively, the three channels garnered almost 300,000 views.
By airing the speech live on television, the ABC could not remove any defamatory statements before publication, Lehrmann’s lawyers stated in court documents.
Doing this while his criminal trial over the same allegation was pending caused “serious harm to the reputation of the applicant”.
They also argued the ABC was “recklessly indifferent to the truth or falsity” of the claim by airing the speech live without giving Lehrmann a chance to respond.
The matter will face a first case management hearing on April 28.
Higgins accused Lehrmann of raping her inside the Parliament House office of then-minister Linda Reynolds, who they both worked for in March 2019.
He denies the allegation, maintaining the pair never had any sexual interaction.
A criminal trial brought against Lehrmann in the ACT Supreme Court was derailed in October because of juror misconduct.
In December, the prosecutor dropped the charges due to impacts a second trial would have on Higgins’ mental health.
The law student’s cases against Ten and News relate to reports in February 2021 on The Project and News.com.au.
Former host of The Project, Lisa Wilkinson, and news.com.au political editor, Samantha Maiden, are both named in the lawsuits.
The media firms and Wilkinson are trying to shut the cases down, arguing they were filed outside of a 12-month window typically required for defamation suits.
Lehrmann argues he could not have filed the cases sooner because of the criminal charges, legal advice and for mental health reasons.
Sydney law firm Mark O’Brien Legal is representing him in all three defamation proceedings.
The ABC has declined to comment.