During the course of business, often professional relationships break down and the parties move on to other ventures and more compatible business partners. However, there are also occasions in which individuals find their livelihood affected by untrue and disparaging comments of disgruntled past affiliates.
If you find yourself in such a scenario, you may have a claim in defamation against that person. As found in Grant v. Torstar Corp., the Supreme Court of Canada established that for statements to be defamatory, a plaintiff must prove the following three things:
- that the words are defamatory in the sense that they lower the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person;
- that the defamatory words referred to the plaintiff; and
- the defamatory words were published – in that they were communicated to at least one other person than the plaintiff.
However, please be aware that there are eight recognized defences in defamation actions and there are also situations in which a defamation case will not be allowed.
Takahashi v. Woods & Lovell (CV-18-599415)
Most recently, our office brought a Motion for Summary Judgment on a matter that dealt with our client’s alleged defamation of an individual.
The central issue before the court was whether there was a genuine issue requiring trial with respect to the defamation claim. The problem with the plaintiff’s matter was that the alleged defamatory words were protected by privilege. That is, the words that allegedly defamed the plaintiff could not be used as a basis for any claim.
As such, Mr. Nuri was able to obtain a dismissal of the case and costs in the amount of $13,603.73 against the plaintiff for wrongfully bringing the action against our client.
In short, while you may believe that you have a straightforward claim against an individual for defaming you and/or your business, it is best to discuss the matter with a lawyer to ensure you have a valid claim that will not be thrown out by a judge.
For more information, please contact David H. Nuri, Barrister & Solicitor at (416) 323-5092 and we’d be happy to speak with you more at a consultation.