CBC appeals libel case against Fifth Estate

Rating: NNNNNThe CBC's lawyers have decided to stick to their guns and fight a whopping $950,000 libel award handed to.


Rating: NNNNN


The CBC’s lawyers have decided to stick to their guns and fight a whopping $950,000 libel award handed to an Ottawa doctor, Frans Leenen, the subject of a 1996 broadcast on The Fifth Estate two months back.

The documentary focused on Health Canada’s approval of a potentially deadly heart medicine.

There were allegations by the judge, Douglas Cunningham, that CBC reporters destroyed their notes. But in appeal documents filed recently the national broadcaster says Cunningham relied on innuendo and ascribed the most extreme possible meaning to words that a “reasonable and fair-minded viewer would not take from the broadcast.”

The CBC claims that Cunningham’s approach to the issue of malice and his findings of fact are “unreliable and unsafe.”

The appeal documents also say that the $950,000 awarded in damages is “excessive (and) arbitrary.”

CBC appeals libel case against Fifth Estate

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