Abbotsford facebook defamation

Posted by Johannes Schenk on April 24th, 2016 — Posted in Human Rights Law, Litigation

2016 BCSC 686 Pritchard v. Van Nes deals with an Abbotsford Facebook defamation case.

Briefly, neighbours were not getting along and the one neighbour took it upon themselves to air their grievance on Facebook with some posts suggesting pedophile tendencies. The plaintiff was a teacher and the Facebook commentary ended up with his school.

Just awful. Damages were awarded in the amount of $65,000.00. Given the facts, though, how would that help? Social media is a powerful tool that can ruin an individual at the press of a button. I’m not entirely sure that defamation law is keeping up with technology. Even in the days of radio/television (compared to Gutenburg’s press) not everyone would watch or listen to a program and the content would disappear with the broadcast. Now you have a permanent tablet that you can’t purge, get rid of or hide and that everyone feels compelled to check up on every two hours.

Employment Termination Mitigation

Posted by Johannes Schenk on April 22nd, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Labour Law, Litigation, Professional Discipline

2016 BCCA 112 Steinebach v. Clean Energy Compression Corp. concerns mitigation upon employment termination. The underlying principles are well settled so I’m somewhat surprised to see this make it’s way to the Court of Appeal.

Society director suspension is not a removal

Posted by Johannes Schenk on April 22nd, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Professional Discipline

2016 BCSC 718 George v. The B.C. Wildlife Federation concerns the powers of a society board of directors to manage the directorship.

A director was suspended for allegedly harassing staff. A petition was brought before the court challenging the procedural validity of the suspension. The director took the position that the suspension was in fact a removal.

The Court said that there was no removal and that there was no irregularity. The Court did not, as such, have jurisdiction in the matter.

The decision underscores that a society is a contractual arrangement and internal relationships will be determined on contractual principles.

ICBC tagged with $350,000 punitive damages for malicious prosecution

Posted by Johannes Schenk on April 22nd, 2016 — Posted in Litigation

2016 BCSC 649 Arsenovski v. Bodin deals with malicious prosecution and investigative negligence on the part of ICBC.

ICBC had accused the plaintiff of a fraud and initiated a criminal prosecution. That didn’t work out well for them and resulted in a hefty, $350,000.00, punitive damages award and double costs.

Human rights complaint against school not dismissed

Posted by Admin on April 21st, 2016 — Posted in Human Rights Law

2016 BCSC 672 School H v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal) concerns a judicial review of a human rights complaint dismissal application.

The decision contains a thorough summary of principles applied in a court review of BCHRT decisions, and in particular, complaint dismissal decisions.