BC Traffic Company Penalized $1.5 Million for Slandering Richmond Competitor – OHS Insider
Valley Traffic Systems (VTS), one of B.C.’s largest traffic control service companies, has been ordered to pay $1.5 million after a defamation campaign that caused a competitor to lose out on a lucrative BC Hydro contract. VTS and the Richmond-based Ansan Group were competitors a decade ago for contracts with BC Hydro and Telus. In 2012, defamatory publications were found online, targeting Ansan Group and its owner Raoul Malak. VTS won the BC Hydro contract in 2013, leading Ansan Group to sue for defamation. VTS owner Philip Jackman and vice-president Trevor Paine were found to have worked with a former Ansan Group employee to defame their competitor. B.C. Supreme Court judge Andrew Mayer ruled that VTS knew about the defamatory publications and disseminated the links intentionally. Additionally, the court awarded damages to Ansan Group and its owner and imposed punitive damages on VTS, Hanna, Jackman, and Paine. This case serves as a warning that defamation for competitive gain will result in significant damages.
Full Article: BC Traffic Company Penalized $1.5 Million for Slandering Richmond Competitor – OHS Insider
Valley Traffic Systems Ordered to Pay $1.5M for Defaming Competitor
In a recent ruling, Valley Traffic Systems (VTS), one of British Columbia’s largest traffic control service companies, has been ordered to pay $1.5 million for engaging in a defamation campaign that caused a competitor to lose out on a lucrative BC Hydro contract. The case involved VTS and its competitor, Ansan Group, and the defamatory publications targeted the company and its owner, Raoul Malak. This article explores the details of the case and the consequences for VTS.
VTS and Ansan Group: Competitors for Lucrative Contracts
Several years ago, VTS and Ansan Group were competitors for various commercial dealings, including a multi-year traffic control contract with BC Hydro and a contract involving Telus. However, in mid-2012, Ansan Group discovered defamatory publications about the company and its owner posted online and on Telus’ ethics complaint webpage. These publications were also sent to then-Premier Christy Clark and the minister responsible for BC Hydro, Rich Coleman.
Defamation Lawsuit and Damages
Following VTS’s successful bid for the BC Hydro contract in 2013, Ansan Group and its owner filed a defamation lawsuit against VTS. In 2017, VTS and a former Ansan Group employee named Remon Hanna were found liable for defaming Ansan Group “with the intent of achieving an unfair competitive advantage.” The initial damages were awarded, and VTS’s contract with BC Hydro ended in 2018.
Reconsideration and New Trial
VTS later appealed the ruling, leading to a new trial held in 2021 to reassess some allegations and address remaining matters, including damages. During this trial, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Andrew Mayer found that VTS’s owner, Philip Jackman, and vice-president, Trevor Paine, had colluded with Hanna to defame Ansan Group.
Collusion and Lack of Credibility
Judge Mayer dismissed VTS’s claim that Hanna was acting independently and concluded that Jackman and Paine had worked with Hanna to defame their competitor. The judge found VTS’s testimonies to be inconsistent and lacking credibility, as they defied business logic and common sense. He also highlighted that VTS had disseminated links to defamatory websites intentionally, rather than engaging in harmless gossip. The judge viewed VTS’s decision to hire Hanna, despite his lack of qualifications, as suspicious.
Excessive Payments and Punitive Damages
According to the ruling, VTS paid Hanna approximately $500,000 per year between 2013 and 2018, totaling $2.4 million. These payments, in addition to further payments after the 2017 trial, were deemed excessive and aimed at preventing Hanna from implicating Jackman and Paine in the appeal. Judge Mayer determined that VTS and its employees intended to harm the reputation of Ansan Group for their own benefit.
Damages and Consequences
As a result of the ruling, VTS has been ordered to pay $500,000 in general damages to Ansan Group’s owner, Raoul Malak, and an additional $200,000 in aggravated damages to reflect the high-handed and malicious conduct of Hanna, Jackman, and Paine. Ansan Group will receive $300,000 in damages. In addition, VTS, Hanna, Jackman, and Paine have been ordered to pay Ansan Group and Malak $500,000 in punitive damages as a deterrent for engaging in defamation for competitive advantage.
The ruling against Valley Traffic Systems serves as a reminder of the consequences of engaging in defamatory practices to gain a competitive edge. The significant damages awarded and punitive measures imposed by the court send a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated. The case highlights the importance of ethical business conduct and fair competition in the industry.
Summary: BC Traffic Company Penalized $1.5 Million for Slandering Richmond Competitor – OHS Insider
Valley Traffic Systems (VTS), one of the largest traffic control service companies in B.C., has been ordered to pay $1.5 million for a defamation campaign that caused a competitor, Ansan Group, to lose out on a BC Hydro contract. VTS employees, including a former Ansan Group employee, were found to have engaged in defamatory actions and targeted their competitor with the intent of gaining an unfair advantage. B.C. Supreme Court judge Andrew Mayer ruled that VTS’s owner and vice-president collaborated with the employee to defame their competitor. The court awarded significant damages, including punitive damages, to Ansan Group and its owner.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Questions and Answers Related to B.C. Traffic Company Ordered to Pay $1.5M for Defaming Richmond Competitor – OHS Insider
Q: What is the recent news about a traffic company in British Columbia?
A: A recent news headline reported that a traffic company in British Columbia has been ordered to pay $1.5 million for defaming its competitor in Richmond, as stated by the OHS Insider.
Q: What was the reason behind the defamation case against the traffic company?
A: The defamation case against the traffic company in British Columbia was initiated by their competitor in Richmond. The competitor accused the traffic company of spreading false information and making damaging statements about their business.
Q: Who made the verdict regarding the defamation case and what was the outcome?
A: The verdict regarding the defamation case was made by the court in British Columbia, and the outcome was that the traffic company was ordered to pay $1.5 million to their Richmond competitor as a result of the defamation.
Q: Can you provide more details about the defamatory statements made by the traffic company?
A: The exact nature of the defamatory statements made by the traffic company has not been explicitly mentioned in the available information. However, it is emphasized that the statements were false and damaging for their competitor’s reputation.
Q: How did the court determine the compensation amount of $1.5 million?
A: The court likely considered various factors, such as the extent of harm caused to the reputation and business of the Richmond competitor, the duration of the defamation, and any other relevant evidence presented during the case to determine the compensation amount of $1.5 million.
Q: Is this case related to occupational health and safety (OHS) violations?
A: The case, as reported by the OHS Insider, does not appear to be directly related to occupational health and safety violations. The OHS Insider is a reliable source of information on occupational health and safety matters, but it is not explicitly mentioned that the defamation case revolves around OHS issues.
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