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Canadian Internet Defamation Rulings
This case is filed under Defamation Damage Awards
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2020 June 5
Candelora v. Feser, 2020 NSSC 177

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court assessed damages for cyber-bullying under the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act, S.N.S. 2017, c. 7  “with guidance from caselaw in related areas of tort law, including defamation and breach of privacy.”  The Court had concluded in its decision on liability that the respondent F and the respondent D “had conducted a campaign of cyber-bullying against the applicant [Candelora] in order to intimidate her into dropping [her] legal proceeding” for custody, access and child support.  Rejecting the respondents’ submissions that damages should be limited to the level of a quasi-criminal fine ($5,000), the Court held that cyber-bullying should be treated as a tort and awarded $50,000 general damages, $20,000 aggravated damages and $15,000 punitive damages to Candelora.  The Court noted “the duration and extent of the cyber-bullying, which was prolific” and that “the respondents’ Facebook postings were public, not limited to a narrower group of individuals, and were tantamount to publication”.  “[T]he postings were offensive and designed to intimidate and humiliate” and included “disclosure of sensitive personal facts.”  The Court also noted the respondents’ “lack of contrition, and their repeated assertions that they would continue to post defamatory statements until litigation against them ceased.”