Legal fees related to law suit by Claude Fournier

May 8, 2012

It’s been reported by La Presse and Sun Media that CBC/Radio-Canada incurred legal fees amounting to $1,074,515 in a suit that saw independent television producer Claude Fournier claim damages of $4.3 million for comments made by former Radio-Canada programming director Mario Clément .

Several factors explain the high fees incurred in this case:

  • The length of the trial, which lasted nearly a month (from March 3 to March 26, 2008). That’s much longer than an average trial.
  • The numerous preliminary requests, one of which had to be resolved in by the Court of Appeals.
  • The enormity of the $4.3 million claimed, which included $3.35 million for monetary damages, $750,000 for moral damages, and $267,000 for legal fees.

The courts ultimately reduced the amount considerably, awarding only $200,000 for moral damages, and dismissing claims for monetary damages and legal fees.

Also reported are recent statements by Claude Fournier that “a public apology would have been enough” to avoid legal action. First, it is important to note that out-of-court discussions are confidential and, as such the details cannot be revealed. But we can say that, in fact, CBC/Radio-Canada had discussions with the plaintiff about a potential non-legal settlement. The Corporation entered those discussions in good faith, but they were, regrettably, unsuccessful.

Search highlight tool