Lawsuit from former city exec against Guelph blogger to go beforehand
Posted by Jack P. Yon on 14th August 2020

A defamation lawsuit filed through a former metropolis government can be shifting ahead.

According to filing from the Superior Court of Justice, the lawsuit launched by Mark Amorosi, the town’s former deputy leader administrative officer of corporate services, against Gerry Barker, who runs the Guelph Speaks political weblog, can move ahead.

The lawsuit, filed in November 2016, is in search of $500,000, with $four hundred,000 for trendy damages and $100,000 for “aggravated, punitive and exemplary” damages.

The healthy cites several posts on Guelph Speaks, claiming they contain fake and defamatory statements approximately Amorosi. Allegations in a statement of declare have now not been validated in court docket.

In a ruling stemming from a July 4 hearing published on line, Justice Petersen brushed off Barker’s motion to have the case dismissed. The blogger said the case become a strategic lawsuit against public participation, additionally known as a SLAPP movement.

“Mr. Barker submits that Mr. Amorosi — with the backing of the City of Guelph — is the use of the defamation action tactically in order to silence his reporting on the misdeeds of the City’s administration,” the ruling reads.

As the healthy was filed whilst Amorosi became nonetheless working with the metropolis, it is overlaying his criminal charges.

“He argues that Mr. Amorosi’s defamation declare is groundless and that, even supposing it were to succeed at trial, Mr. Amorosi suffered no real damage and consequently would be entitled to nominal damages at exceptional.”

Petersen said the selection to transport beforehand with the case changed into a close call, however concluded “that the harm suffered or in all likelihood to be suffered by means of Mr. Amorosi because of Mr. Barker’s impugned expression is adequately severe that the public interest in allowing the intending to maintain marginally outweighs the sizable public hobby in protecting Mr. Barker’s expression.”

While Amorosi filed match in November 2016, his lawsuit states his legal professional had sent a letter to Barker months prior, demanding that defamatory words approximately the then deputy CAO be taken down from Guelph Speaks.

The lawsuit states Barker refused to comply, and “has continued his personal and malicious assaults on Amorosi and published as a minimum seven extra weblog posts among Sept. 27 and Nov. 6, 2016, which are noticeably important of Amorosi.”

According to Petersen’s ruling, Barker had argued that it changed into “clean from the words used in his posts that he turned into expressing concern approximately municipal authorities affairs generally and not approximately Mr. Amorosi’s man or woman conduct or competence.”

Petersen notes that Amorosi turned into stated several instances with the aid of call.

However, the justice did rule that feedback have been based on Amorosi’s function with the town, in preference to private attacks, writing “the statements approximately Mr. Amorosi form a part of a broader document on the City of Guelph’s municipal government affairs, mainly on the nation of the town’s finances, the expenditure of public price range, the transparency of choice-making, and the task overall performance of these in fee of the town’s management and budget.”

In his lawsuit, Amorosi also argued Barker’s posts had made it harder for him to find a activity, noting “that regardless of having applied for 4 separate similar positions, he has not received a single task interview considering the fact that leaving his job on the City of Guelph in early 2017.”

Amorosi changed into fired by means of the town in February 2017 after being held answerable for the unintended disclosure of private statistics became over to lawyers within the on the grounds that- settled wrongful dismissal lawsuit from Bruce Poole, the metropolis’s former leader building official.

Originally posted 2019-08-21 08:10:45.