Ridout Barron


Ex-journalist wins $200,000 in civil suit for defamation

Ex-journalist Arthur Kent won a defamation lawsuit after a columnist from Postmedia said others referred to the politician as the "Dud Scud," which was an unflattering play on the man's nickname, "Scud Stud," from his days as a news correspondent during the Persian Gulf War.

According to the judge who ruled on the case, the writer committed defamation when he referred to the journalist by this unflattering moniker while the Kent was running for office in Alberta's legislature back in 2008. Kent was awarded $200,000 in damages by the judge.

The justice further wrote that the reporter did not unlawfully accuse Kent of committing immoral or illegal acts; however, the article did portray the man as politically naive, arrogant and egotistical. It further accused him of having a campaign that was in a state of "disarray." The justice felt that the writer's published comments entitled the politician to more than just nominal damages because the politician had suffered damage and stress relating to the defaming statements, which the judge felt were exaggerated, sarcastic and unfair.

In the lawsuit, Kent further claimed that he was not given the chance to respond to the article and he was worried that it would be available for several years following its original publication. The lawsuit stated that this caused the ex-journalist to experience a lot of stress. After the ruling, the journalist who wrote the defaming article admitted that only one source had referred to the politician as the "Dud Scud."

Defamation is serious because it can ruin an individual's social standing and reputation, and it can result in costly career and financial damages. As such, in some situations, Alberta residents can seek financial compensation in civil court from the parties that defame them.

Source: thestar.com, "Former journalist Arthur Kent wins ‘Dud Scud’ defamation lawsuit, awarded $200K," Bill Graveland, June 08, 2016

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