B.C. Climate Scientist Wins Defamation Suit Against National Post

tay

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Weaver said he initiated the lawsuit in 2010 when the National Post refused to retract the offending articles “that attributed to me statements I never made, accused me of things I never did, and attacked me for views I never held.”

“I felt I had to take this matter to court to clear my name and correct the public record. This judgment does precisely that.”

Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute and member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, said the ruling “is a victory for climate scientists everywhere.”

There is “an extremely long history of efforts by climate deniers and contrarians to attack not just climate science, but climate scientists: to smear their scientific reputations, to distort their statements, and to make false and defamatory accusations,” Gleick told DeSmog Canada.


Gleick said defamation “has been a standard tactic for years, especially as the science of climate change has continued to strengthen and solidify.”


The attack on Weaver’s credibility is unfortunately only one of many examples, he said.


“While I'm sure the ruling will not stop the continued assault on climate science and scientists, it should certainly put people on notice that there is a responsibility to avoid such irresponsible attacks and a real cost for failing to do so. I hope this ruling has that effect.”


Weaver said he is looking forward to the defendants “publishing a complete retraction and removing the offending articles from electronic databases.”


The four articles in question, as listed in the court ruling, can be seen below.




Climate Scientist Andrew Weaver Wins $50,000 in Defamation Suit Against National Post, Terence Corcoran | DeSmog Canada
 

mentalfloss

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Climate scientist wins defamation case against right leaning National Post

Climate scientist wins defamation case against National Post

Climate scientist Andrew Weaver has won a closely watched defamation lawsuit against the National Post, after a B.C. Supreme Court found the newspaper was "careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts" in a series of articles published in 2009 and 2010.

Justice Emily Burke awarded Weaver, a former University of Victoria professor and current B.C. Green Party MLA, $50,000 in damages.

She also ordered the Post to remove the offending articles from its websites and electronic databases, as well as publish "a complete retraction" of the defamatory statements, "in a form agreed to by" Weaver.

However, in the first court decision in Canada to address the issue of whether a newspaper can be liable for reader postings on its website, she sided with the Post, which had argued it was not the publisher of the comments, and had removed them.

Reached by phone on Friday, Weaver said he is "ecstatic" about the outcome of a lawsuit he claims "was never about money."

"To me, it was about the importance of actually ensuring that the articles were truthful. There were a lot of inaccuracies in there. I had no choice but to correct them," he said.

Post lawyer Daniel Burnett, said it is still "too early" to say if his clients will appeal.

Burnett described Burke's order for the Post to remove the offending articles from the Internet, which includes withdrawing consent given to third parties to re-publish the stories, and requiring these third parties to cease re-publication, as "unusual."

The defendants, who include Post publisher Gordon Fisher, as well as columnists Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin, have 30 days to file an appeal, which would be heard at the B.C. Court of Appeal.

In her decision, released on Thursday, Justice Burke said the defendants "definitively espouse a skeptical view of climate change and are unwavering in their expression of this."

"While certainly entitled to express those views, in this case as part of that expression, they deliberately created a negative impression of Dr. Weaver," she wrote.

The Post had argued that the articles were not defamatory, because they did not attack Weaver's character, and that the statements are protected by the fair comment defence.

See more at: Climate scientist wins defamation case against National Post
 

petros

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Re: Climate scientist wins defamation case against right leaning National Post

Old news already posted by boomer.
 

waldo

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Re: Climate scientist wins defamation case against right leaning National Post


isn't the 1st related apology/retraction the National Post has had to issue... and it won't be the last! Next up, Mark Steyn, the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Of course it appears it's much easier to win a defamation case in Canada than it is in the U.S. ... the Mann has got a lot farther through the U.S. Court system than most observers understanding of U.S. law predicted.
 

mentalfloss

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Re: Climate scientist wins defamation case against right leaning National Post

The Steyn lovers on this forum will be fed their talking points soon.
 

Blackleaf

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Re: Climate scientist wins defamation case against right leaning National Post

Maybe we should lay charges of defamation against most climate scientists.
 

Locutus

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Couple of points: this is the BC supreme court, a provincial court, not the Supreme Court of Canada. The suit and award is $50,000 because, under Canadian court system, NO DISCOVERY is required as a prelude to trial, meaning the neither party has to give up much prior to trial, and defendent is denied access to info they would otherwise get through the discovery process. Def suits actual injury needs to be proved.

Free National Post! - Small Dead Animals
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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Seems to be a specific victory of one man who had statements attributed to him he never said by one newspaper. Hardly a victory for climate scientists everywhere.
 

Tonington

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Seems to be a specific victory of one man who had statements attributed to him he never said by one newspaper. Hardly a victory for climate scientists everywhere.

Precedent isn't important? Really? There's a number of other cases just like this one before courts in various other jurisdictions. It's been a common complaint of scientists that statements and views are falsely attributed to them.

If you're a journalist who reports on this topic, and you get slapped with a defamation ruling with a $50,000 fine, you don't think it will change their behavior? If they don't, they are fools.

I think you're in denial, just a tad.
 

taxslave

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This has nothing to do with the fact globull warming is a scam. Only that one newspaper falsely attributed comments to Weaver that he never made. For which they rightly should be penalized.
 

petros

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Precedent isn't important? Really? There's a number of other cases just like this one before courts in various other jurisdictions. It's been a common complaint of scientists that statements and views are falsely attributed to them.

If you're a journalist who reports on this topic, and you get slapped with a defamation ruling with a $50,000 fine, you don't think it will change their behavior? If they don't, they are fools.

I think you're in denial, just a tad.
Precedent? There were never any prior defamation cases against a newspaper until this? There is nothing that sets this apart to set precedent.

Yeesh.
 

Cliffy

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A tree huger convention:

 

Tonington

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Precedent? There were never any prior defamation cases against a newspaper until this?

Of course there were. The ruling cites them. However, the defendants argument was overturned. That sets precedent for future cases where someone might claim the same or similar defense. The defense was saying that even if their statements were untrue, that there would be no harm to Weaver's reputation. They further argued that they must be allowed to make ambiguous claims stating someone is unfit in their profession without consequence, and cited law. The Judge disagreed with both of those interpretations.