Davies' successfully appeals group defamation class action decision

    MONTREAL, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec Court of Appeal just released
today its judgment in the case of Diffusion Métromédia CMR Inc and
André Arthur v. Farès Bou Malhab and granted the appeal from the decision of
the trial judge.
    Davies, with a team made up of David Stolow, Nick Rodrigo and
Louis-Martin O'Neill successfully represented the appellants.
    The case involved a group defamation class-action launched on behalf of a
group of taxi drivers in Montreal based on their claims that certain
statements made by André Arthur during one of his radio shows was defamatory
to taxi drivers in Montreal. The trial judge upheld this claim and awarded the
plaintiffs $220,000 in moral damages despite the fact that there was no
evidence that the 11 members of the group who testified at trial, let alone
the 1089 of the members who did not, suffered any damages. A majority of the
Court of Appeal held that there was no defamation of any member of the group.
The majority held that the comments in question did not infringe on the
reputation of any individual member of the group and that to accept the
principle in this case that comments that only targeted a group and not its
individual members could give rise to an action in damages on behalf of these
individuals would seriously undermine the right to freedom of expression.

    Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is an integrated firm of more than
250 lawyers with offices in Toronto, Montréal, New York and an affiliate in
Paris. The firm is focused on business law and is consistently at the heart of
the largest and most complex commercial and financial matters on behalf of its
clients, regardless of borders.

For further information:

For further information: Caroline Couillard, Morin Relations Publiques,
(514) 289-8688, poste 233, Cell.: (514) 755-5729

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