September 10, 2020
Chopak v Patrick 2020 ONSC 5431
This is an appeal from the decision of a Deputy Judge of the Small Claims Court who awarded judgment to the plaintiff, Stacey Chopak, in a defamation action she brought against Edward Patrick. Chopak was awarded $25,000 in damages and costs of $3,750.
The appeal is allowed in part, and damages are reduced to $5,000. Costs of the trial must also be reduced to $1,000. The trial judge made errors of law in his consideration of the law of defamation, particularly relating to the defence of fair comment and the existence of malice. He also made palpable and overriding factual errors and errors of mixed fact and law in his application of the law to the evidence.