Ager v. Canjex (Canada Stockwatch), Woods, Mudry
From Ad IDEM / CMLA
June 6, 2003
Mr. Ager was a "controversial" figure, but not a "fraudulent" one, as Stockwatch suggested in its reports of a court case involving his company and former employees. When reporting on pleadings, there is a heavy onus to report fairly, and not to mix the statements being reported on with the assertions of the reporter. This decision also requires fairness, in the form of even-handed treatment, in reporting on the plaintiff's evidence at the defamation trial itself.
The trial was lost, but the appeal is underway.
See the trial decision: Ager v. Canjex (Canada Stockwatch), Woods, Mudry
A plea of truth, if not proven, adds to the damage tab. Here, the plea was only substantially withdrawn five weeks prior to trial. There was an additional penalty in costs.
See the decision on amending the defence: Ager v. Canjex (Canada Stockwatch), Woods, Mudry
After the trial, there was an issue about posting security on the appeal. The Solomonic solution: $275,000, to cover most of the damages, though not the costs.
See the decision on security for costs: Ager v. Canjex (Canada Stockwatch), Woods, Mudry