Winning Result in the Court of Appeal
Gag Proceeding Dismissed
Toronto Defamation Lawyer Gil Zvulony successfully represented his client in the Ontario Court of Appeal, in a precedent setting case that was one of the first to test Ontario’s anti-SLAPP legislation (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) in the courts. A good background on the case was published by Maclean’s magazine at the time of the lower court decision: How a Real Estate Developer’s Efforts to Silence a Critic Failed. That article described the dispute as “a defamation lawsuit filed by a Goliath of the syndicated mortgage industry against a veritable David of real estate analysts.”
The Court of Appeal sided with Mr. Zvulony’s client and agreed that the lawsuit should be dismissed under the new law. The Court found that “this lawsuit had the strong indicia of a true SLAPP.” The Court found that the “contract” being sued on, a contract that sought to silence Mr. Zvulony’s client from speaking about the defendants, would not be enforced as it unduly interfered with Mr. Rabidoux’s right to express himself on matters of public interest. It is one of the few Canadian decisions to examine the enforceability of a “contract of silence”.
In addition to having the lawsuit dismissed Mr. Zvulony’s client was awarded his full indemnity costs in the lower court and his costs of the appeal.
- Court of Appeal Decision: Fortress Real Developments Inc. v. Rabidoux, 2018 ONCA 686 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/htqb7>
- Lower Court Decision: Fortress Real Developments Inc. v Rabidoux, 2017 ONSC 167 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/gwt81>
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