Wright v.Kehoe, 2010 ONSC 319(CanLII)
David Kehoe and Total Credit Recovery Ltd. – Appellants Camille Wright – Respondent
Date of Decision: January 12, 2010
Facts: On November 27, 2008, Camille Wright was awarded damages for slander and costs on a substantial indemnity basis in her lawsuit against David Kehoe and his employer Total Credit Recovery Ltd, a collection agency. In an effort to collect money owed from Ms. Wright for a leased car, which had been repossessed by the lessor, Mr. Kehoe called her employer and made false statements about her. The evidence presented to the jury found that on November 18, 2005, Mr. Kehoe phoned the bank that Ms. Wright worked at, as a float officer and posed as a lawyer. He communicated with the respondent’s manager and asked for a confirmation of her address. He also stated that the court had ordered garnishment of Ms. Wright’s wages and she needed to contact him to settle the matter. The jury found that these words were defamatory and assessed the general damages at $40,000. Judgment was confirmed by D. Wilson .J. The appellant submitted that the spoken words were defamatory however the jury’s assessment of damages is patently excessive and out of proportion with the proper compensation for the type of injury suffered by the respondent and should be reduced to a maximum of $10,000. The argument was based on the claim that there was no evidence that Ms. Wright was passed over for promotion or failed to obtain regular raises and bonuses. The appellant admits that the threshold for reviewing a jury’s award is set very high, requiring that the verdict is so inordinately high that it must be a wholly erroneous estimate of damages. Relying on the cases of Howes v. Crosby  O.J. No.3127 (C.A.) and Snushall v. Fulsang  O.J. No. 4069(C.A.), the appellants defined “inordinate “as too high or too low by 50%.
Legal issue: Was the jury’s award for damages of $40,000 patently excessive and out of...
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