Has anyone had something bad written about them on the Internet? Well hopefully not, but for those who have, this is quite unpleasant in the least. What makes it worse is that people may feel there is not too much they can do about it apart from talking to a media lawyer in Toronto. Well the law is changing!
In a recent case, 385277 Ontario Ltd. v. Gold, the Defendants posted very unfavourable and insulting videos of the Plaintiff on the Internet. After consulting with a media lawyer, the Plaintiff sought an injunction to stop the posting of the videos pending trial. In his decision, Justice Myers linked the act of Internet harassment to the tort of intimidation. Justice Myers states,
“I am prepared to recognize that it is unlawful harassment, to use the Internet in a manner that is outrageous in character, duration, and extreme in degree, with the intent to coerce behaviour by causing fear, anxiety, emotional upset, or impugning the dignity of the Plaintiff online. In my view this is an incremental step in the development of the law that goes not further than required to deal with the case before me.”
The court ordered that the Defendants be prohibited from continuing their Internet harassment. Justice Myers also noted that monetary damages would not be able to easily compensate the Plaintiff for the pain and suffering inflicted by Internet harassment. The Plaintiff was awarded $15,000 for the costs of the motion (costs are what the Plaintiff would have had to pay his media lawyer for working on the motion). Such costs are normally reserved for trial but the judge wanted to punish the Defendants’ unreasonable opposition to the motion and awarded the costs right after the motion.
Are you involved in a case that deals with media law, defamation, or civil litigation? Contact Melekhovets Law today, one of the best contracts lawyers in Toronto.