A former environmental activist with the Friends of Clayoquot Sound has won an appeal of a lower court decision awarding Creative Salmon Company Ltd. damages for defamation. The west coast salmon farming company had sued Don Staniford for damages as a result of two press releases he authored about the company. At the end of a twelve day trial, the judge found that the releases had defamed Creative Salmon and ordered that Staniford pay damages of $15,000. The Court of Appeal has found that the trial judge erred in applying the law and has set aside the decision and ordered a new trial.

The result means that Staniford will be relieved from any obligation to pay Creative Salmon at least $100,000 which includes the judgment, court costs of $75,000 for trial and estimated appeal costs of $10,000. He should recover some of his costs as well.

We had only a peripheral role in the case, representing the interests of Friends of Clayoquot Sound, but we welcome this major victory and congratulate Mr. Staniford and his lawyers for standing up to the bullying tactics of the plaintiff.

Read the decision here: 2009 BCCA 61 Creative Salmon Company Ltd v. Staniford