Alberta Appeals Court bumps up award to ‘Scud Stud’ in defamation case

CALGARY — A former war correspondent has been awarded another $200,000 in costs related to his years-long legal dispute with one of Canada’s biggest media companies.

Arthur Kent won a defamation suit two years ago against the company that is now Postmedia and its former columnist Don Martin.

The case stemmed from a 2008 column published while Kent was campaigning for a seat in the Alberta legislature that painted him as an out-of-control egomaniac who had alienated party staff.

Kent, who got the nickname “Scud Stud” while reporting for NBC during the Persian Gulf war, was a star Progressive Conservative candidate, but was on record as disagreeing with some party policies.

“Alberta Conservatives have bestowed problem candidate Arthur Kent with a less flattering designation as he noisily blusters his way through their reeling election campaign — the Dud Scud,” Martin wrote.

Justice Jo’Anne Strekaf found the piece would cause right-thinking people to think less of Kent and awarded him damages of $200,000 and costs of $250,000.

Kent had sought more than $1.2 million in costs.

The Alberta Court of Appeal said in a decision Friday that it would bump up the costs awarded to a total of $450,000.

The Appeal Court’s ruling noted the litigation was “protracted and contentious at every stage.”

“Even obvious, routine matters required judicial intervention or supervision.”

Strekaf was critical of the defendants for continually refusing to turn over two emails between Martin and the lawyer for Kent’s campaign Kristine Robidoux. But she also rejected accusations from Kent that the defendants were guilty of wrongdoing, including fraudulent concealment of records and intentional destruction of records.

“None of these allegations were ever established,” she wrote. “Both sides were responsible for some of the excessive pre-trial proceedings and delay.”

The Appeal Court disagreed.

“As we have concluded that the most serious of the appellant’s allegations of misconduct were established, we find the trial judge erred in penalizing him for having made them,” the Appeal Court wrote.

“Accordingly, we will adjust the costs awarded to the appellant. Mindful of the seriousness of the conduct and the need to discourage it, we allow the appeal and award the appellant an additional $200,000 in costs.”

Kent thanked the Court of Appeal in an emailed statement.

“Martin, Postmedia and their lawyers apparently believed they were above the truth. Then they acted as though they were above the law. They were wrong on both counts.”

Kent also wanted an injunction against republishing the defamatory article, but both Strekaf and the Appeals Court declined to grant one.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read