A defamation lawsuit filed through a former metropolis government can be shifting ahead.
According to a 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 about Amorosi. Allegations in a report of the declaration have now not been validated in the court docket.
In a ruling stemming from a July 4 hearing published online, Justice Petersen brushed off Barker’s motion to dismiss the case. The blogger said the issue became a strategic lawsuit against public participation, 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 to silence his reporting on the misdeeds of the City’s administration,” the ruling reads.
As the health was filed while Amorosi was working with the metropolis, it overlays his criminal charges.
“He argues that Mr. Amorosi’s defamation declaration 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, they concluded: “that the harm suffered or in all likelihood to be suffered using 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 a match in November 2016, his lawsuit states his legal professional had sent a letter to Barker months prior, demanding that defamatory words about 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 between Sept. 27 and Nov. 6, 2016, which are noticeably important to 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 several instances with the aid of a call.
However, the justice did rule that feedback had 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 an activity, noting “that regardless of having applied for four separate similar positions, he has not received a single task interview because leaving his job on the City of Guelph in early 2017.”
Amorosi was fired using the town in February 2017 after being held answerable for the unintended disclosure of private statistics. It became over to lawyers because they settled a wrongful dismissal lawsuit from Bruce Poole, the metropolis’s former leader building official.