Leaving false and malicious negative online reviews can make a reviewer liable for defamation, as is illustrated by this recent case. Here, a family lumber business was recently awarded $90,000 in damages after successfully claiming defamation against a disgruntled customer. In Premier Finance Ltd. v Ginther, 2022 BCSC 1461 an unhappy customer, Mr. Ginther, posted negative reviews of the lumber company on Google and Yelp after experiencing what he claimed to be poor customer service. The plaintiff, Longhouse Specialty Forest Products, owned by Brian and Moila Jenkins, sued for $675,000 claiming that Mr. Ginther’s reviews damaged the company’s reputation and caused it financial losses. At trial, the BC Supreme Court found that Mr. Ginther’s reviews were defamatory as the plaintiffs met the burden of proof in establishing defamation and the defendant could offer no reasonable defense. Finding the comments both untrue and malicious, the court awarded the plaintiffs both general and aggravated damages.
How should ongoing bankruptcy proceedings be handled once debts have been resolved through a subsequent CCAA process? In a recent decision from British Columbia, EncoreFX Inc. (Re), 2023 BCSC 39, the province’s Supreme Court addressed this surprisingly murky question.
A natural tension exists where a company that is subject to insolvency proceedings (such as bankruptcy) is also a party to an arbitration agreement. In such cases, there may be conflicting decisions issued by the arbitrator and the insolvency court, or there may be disagreement about which forum has the authority to hear the dispute. The modern view has tended to be that agreements to arbitrate should be honored, consistent with the principles of party autonomy and freedom of contract. Insolvency procedures, however, favour a centralized judicial process and can override certain pre-insolvency agreements in order to achieve objectives in the best interests of creditors. In a much-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently weighed in on these conflicting principles in Peace River Hydro Partners v. Petrowest Corp., and, in doing so, addressed a key intersection of insolvency and arbitration law.
A “shotgun” clause is a mechanism found within a shareholder agreement that provides shareholders a means to address deadlocks or disagreements and typically involve one shareholder offering to buy out the other shareholder(s) at a specified price. The other shareholder(s) must either accept the offer and sell their shares or buy out the shareholder who made initial offer at the same price. It is often a mechanism of last resort where shareholders cannot settle a dispute by discussion or negotiation. This legal mechanism was at the centre of a recent dispute from British Columbia, Wolverton Pacific Partnership v Triple F Investments Ltd, 2022 BCSC 1074, where the province’s Supreme Court had to decide whether the buy-out provision in a shareholders’ agreement made between two family shareholders was applicable to, and could be invoked by, the parties.
Written by Connor Jonsson, supervised by Professor Darcy MacPherson At law, an agency agreement can be implied to exist based on the conduct of the parties alone – without any […]
When will a breach of contract disentitle the breaching party to sue for relief in relation to subsequent breaches by another contracting party? In a recent case, Tai An Holding […]
Written by Connor Jonsson, supervised by Professor MacPherson. Can a party who does not have present legal ownership of shares, but may be able to prove beneficial legal ownership in […]