$229K in Damages Awarded for “Relentless” and “Extensive” Internet Defamation Postings

Reasons for judgment were released earlier this year (and published this week) by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, awarding just over $229,000 in damages to a Plaintiff on the receiving end of a “relentless” and “extensive” on line defamation campaign.

In today’s case (Rook v. Halcrow) the parties were involved in a romantic relationship.  Shortly after it came to an end several on line postings were published across multiple platforms making disparaging remarks about the Plaintiff.

The Defendant denied making the multiple postings but the Court rejected this and found her liable for them.  In assessing general damages at $175,000, aggravated damages at $25,000 and further awarding special damages related to the Plaintiff hiring a reputation management company to remove the posts Mr. Justice Myers provided the following reasons:

[41]    Turning to the case at bar, Ms. Halcrow mounted a campaign against the Mr. Rook that was as relentless as it was extensive. As I said, she was motivated by malice. The timing of the postings was tied to the relationship break-up, its recommencement and its second break-up.

[42]    In my view, an appropriate award of general damages is $175,000 general damages and $25,000 aggravated damages. The plaintiff has not claimed punitive damages.

[43]    Turning to special damage, Mr. Rook engaged the services of reputation consultants to assist in having the postings removed. He spent US $29,870.00 as is entitled to recover that from Ms. Halcrow.

[44]    Mr. Rook is also entitled to his costs.

[45]    Mr. Rook is also entitled to an injunction. Ms. Halcrow, and other persons with knowledge of the order, wherever they are located in the world, are restrained from publishing any of the comments contained in the schedule attached to this judgment. A similar schedule but without the inferential meanings, is to be attached to the order.

bc injury law, Defamation, Libel Mr. Justice Myers, Rook v. Halcrow

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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