“Doctored” Surveillance Nets $3 Million Award

Insurers who have been shocked to see awards of punitive damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars should count their blessings and be glad they’re not private investigation firms. (copy of decision)

In Hordo v. Mrowiec, the Superior Court was dealing with a claim against an investigation firm which had undertaken some surveillance of the plaintiff. The court found that this the defendant had “knowingly produced a false and doctored videotape and provided a false report about surveillance of the plaintiff”. The precise nature of the “doctoring” was not specified.

The defendant didn’t defend the action, which might have been a bad mistake. The court awarded general damages of $1 million, special damages of $1 million and punitive damages of, yes, $1 million.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, to the egos of lawyers across the province, is that the plaintiff was self-represented.

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