Plaintiffs had history of using litigation to silence critics

Civil Practice and Procedure - Costs - Effect of success of proceedings

Defendants were partially successful on motion to strike statement of claim. Plaintiff sought costs of motion on partial indemnity basis, totalling $23,875.18. Defendants opposed costs award on basis of presumption against costs on anti-SLAPP motion under s. 137.1(8) of Courts of Justice Act and because they were successful in striking certain paragraphs from statement of claim. Although expressions at issue in case were not related to matter of public interest, proceeding bore some of indicia of SLAPP suit given plaintiffs had history of using litigation to silence critics, there was power imbalance between parties and there was punitive or retributory purpose to plaintiff’s claim. It was not improper or frivolous for defendant to bring motion. This was not appropriate case to exercise discretion under s. 137.1(8) of Act to award costs to plaintiff. No order as to costs.

Walsh v. Badin (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 2610, 2019 ONSC 1281, Nishikawa J. (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 1122, 2019 ONSC 689, Nishikawa J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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