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Canadian Internet Defamation Rulings
This case is filed under Substantive Defences
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2018 May 18
Dube c Lesage inc., 2018 QCCS 2114

The Quebec Superior Court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant over an anonymous, defamatory email from a “gmail” address that was given broad dissemination to the heating and cooling industry in Quebec.  The defendant and its management categorically denied being the authors of the email.   The plaintiff was able to show that three prior emails from a “hotmail” address emanated from an IP address in Laval and that Bell Canada was the ISP.  The plaintiff was also able to show that the IP address relating to the three “hotmail” emails was associated with a local bar, which was frequented from time to time by employees of the defendant.  However, the defamatory “gmail” email related to Internet access pertaining to an electronics retailer.  The Court declined to make a finding, based on circumstantial evidence, that the defendant was responsible for the defamatory email.  If liability had been established, the Court indicated that it would have awarded $25,000 moral damages and $10,000 punitive damages.