Torts – Defamation - Practice and procedure
Individual plaintiff doctor believed he found means and developed procedure of obtaining fetal DNA from mother’s blood without risk of intruding directly on fetus. Individual plaintiff began selling test to public through corporate plaintiff and had not published paper, did not make presentation, and did not hold debate or discussion on his findings. Problems appeared with testing as some individuals who had purchased and relied on test questioned results, and more conventional tests produced dramatically different results than plaintiffs’ testing. Individual defendant conducted 18-month investigation and wrote article that was published in corporate defendant’s magazine, which reviewed experiences of some purchasers, referred to issues with test, mentioned plaintiff by name, and suggested that test results were unreliable. Various experts provided testimony on relevant issues, including accuracy of plaintiffs’ test, validity of testing method, and lack of proper protocol. Plaintiffs brought unsuccessful action in defamation against defendants. Parties made submissions on costs. Plaintiffs were ordered to pay defendants’ costs in amount of $1,100,000 for fees inclusive of HST, and $378,766.64 for disbursements inclusive of HST, for total of $1,478,766.64. Defendants’ costs associated with experts were appropriate in every sense as experts were of highest calibre and evidence provided was pivotal. Defendants were entitled to significant costs award, but not to value that was requested.
Health Genetic Center Corp. v. New Scientist Magazine et al. (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 2212, 2019 ONSC 575, Lederer J. (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 21558, 2018 ONSC 7224, Lederer J. (Ont. S.C.J.).
Case Law is a weekly summary of notable civil and criminal court decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Canada and all Ontario courts. These cases may be found online in WestlawNext Canada. To subscribe, please visit store.thomsonreuters.ca