Toronto/Montreal, March 10, 2017: Resolute Forest Products’ legal attacks on Greenpeace suffered a major setback yesterday when the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that allegations against Greenpeace Canada are “scandalous and vexatious.”
The ruling greatly reduces the scope of Resolute’s $7 million defamation lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada and two staff filed in 2013.
The upheld August 2016 court decision states: “Resolute alleges in the Reply that Greenpeace has a strategy of distorting the truth and ‘sensationalizing’ the evidence in order to appeal to its donor base. There is not a single example pleaded of the defendant Greenpeace doing such a thing.”
“Resolute can try to muzzle their watchdogs by filing lawsuits as part of an expensive PR campaign, but they will ultimately fail. Greenpeace will continue to stand by our critique of Resolute’s forestry practices as sound opinion based on reliable scientific evidence,” said Shane Moffatt, Head of Forest Campaign of Greenpeace Canada.
A decision is expected soon on whether Resolute’s second lawsuit, a $300 million dollar case filed in Augusta, Georgia against Greenpeace in the U.S., Greenpeace International and Stand.earth, will be heard in court or dismissed outright. This lawsuit alleges Greenpeace’s campaign to protect the Boreal forest is a “criminal scheme.” Resolute’s law firm is Kasowitz Benson, who also represents President Donald Trump.
“We are confident that the courts will continue to dismiss this company’s inflammatory allegations,” said Moffatt.
Notes for editors:
Quotes from the Ontario Superior Court ruling:
- [para. 69] Resolute alleges in the Reply that Greenpeace has a strategy of distorting the truth and “sensationalizing” the evidence in order to appeal to its donor base. There is not a single example pleaded of the defendant Greenpeace doing such a thing. As an allegation of past bad conduct, this is a pleading of presumptively inadmissible similar fact evidence. As an allegation of malice, it is so devoid of particularity as to be scandalous and vexatious.
- [para. 51] Resolute’s impugned pleadings “have almost nothing to do with the central allegations of the claims and defences.”
- [para. 62] “Greenpeace is an environmental advocacy group. Resolute seems to take issue with this characterization in some places in its reply, suggesting that Greenpeace’s raison d’être is to raise money and not to advocate in respect to environmental or social causes in which it believes. The pleading is a non sequitur.”
All court filings related to Resolute’s Forest Products lawsuits against Greenpeace Canada, and against Greenpeace in the U.S., Greenpeace International and Stand.earth are published on its website. For more details please visit http://greenpeace.ca/resolutelawsuits.
For more information:
For media inquiries regarding the Ontario lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada, please contact: Philippa Duchastel de Montrouge, firstname.lastname@example.org