On August 1, 2018, the Honourable Deputy Judge Mauth released a favourable decision in a small claims case on which Bennett Jones associates Grace McKeown and Amanda McLachlan were representing the defendants on a pro bono basis.
The case stems from alleged incidents of bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination against the defendants that look place when the plaintiff and the defendants were employed at the same workplace for two and a half years. In 2015, the defendants launched an application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, naming the plaintiff and the defendants' former employer, alleging that they had experienced harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Following settlement discussions between the defendants and their former employer, the defendants withdrew their applications to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
In March of 2016, the plaintiff served a statement of claim for damages that arose from alleged defamation, harassment, abuse of process and intentional interference with contractual relations. The allegations were based on the same factual basis forming the original applications made to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The trial was heard over two days in November 2017 and February 2018. On August 1, 2018, Deputy Judge Mauth dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims against the defendants, finding that the plaintiff failed to prove both liability and damages.
As part of our commitment to bettering the communities in which we live, Bennett Jones lawyers devote innumerable hours to providing pro bono legal services in a diverse range of areas from financial and business to civil liberties and human rights. This important work serves many purposes—it helps fulfill our shared belief as a firm that all Canadians are entitled to access to justice, it helps provide genuine professional development opportunities to our students and associates, and it encourages our lawyers to pursue areas of interest.