Corey Sax discusses the inappropriate tweet about Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 05 March 2015

Corey Sax discusses the inappropriate tweet about Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul

AM 980’s Craig Needles and Corey Sax from Diamond & Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers discussed the controversy surrounding TSN’s mistake on NHL trade deadline day by accidentally broadcasting an inappropriate tweet that impacted Joffrey Lupul (Toronto Maple Leafs), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Dion Phaneuf’s wife Elisha Cuthbert.

Craig Needles: When something awful or untrue is broadcasted about you, as someone in the public eye, what options do you have legally?

Corey Sax: Legally, you can always sue TSN and the individual who posted the tweet. However, there are significant issues for the players. The more they make of the issue, the longer it drags out in the media and the more attention it puts on the players.

Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf have gone out and hired a lawyer, written a letter to TSN and the individual who posted the tweet threatening a claim against them, demanded a formal apology and requested damages. TSN issued a public apology on air but there is no indication that they have paid any damages.

Craig Needles: if you’re TSN, what would you recommend?

Corey Sax: TSN had two options: try and prove that the statement is true (if true, there really is no basis for the lawsuit) or come out and apologize right away. TSN came out and apologized right away (indicating that they have no information to prove that the statement is true). With this apology, TSN basically admitted that they’re liable for the incident. I would not have recommended it to them, but I think that they realized they were over their heads and had no defense to what happened.

Craig Needles: Some of the awkwardness surrounds the fact that Bell owns TSN and also owns a portion of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Corey Sax: Absolutely. If Dion Phaneuf and Joffrey Lupul do proceed with the claim, they are ultimately suing the co-owners of their own team.

Craig Needles: If you’re in the public eye and you see false information posted about you, is there some level of expectation from time to time that “I’ll let this go” because I’m in the public eye or should they stick up for themselves?

Corey Sax: I think that they had no choice but to stick up for themselves. This is not unprecedented, this has happened before. In hockey, there was a recent case with Brian Burke, former GM for the Toronto Maple Leafs, he had a judgment that he won in BC. Commentators wrote that he had an affair with a female sports writer and went the same route as these players (even further and commenced a claim) and was successful. There is definitely grounds/precedent for this type of claim. If you’re in the public eye and someone makes a statement about you, you really have no choice but to proceed with the claim. Especially when there are significant damages.

Personal Injury Lawyer’s Take on Impact of Social Media Posts

Craig Needles: Are there any lessons for people on social media that think they’re talking to no one, or think that everything they say can’t necessarily harm them?

Corey Sax: You need to be careful with what you post. At the end of the day, the individual who posted the tweet, while he is responsible for publishing the tweet, the damages are really caused by the fact that TSN broadcasted it. If you’re on twitter and have limited followers, you don’t have as many concerns. However, if you’re TSN, a public entity with millions of viewers, it’s important to take additional steps to ensure that things like this aren’t broadcasted on your networks.

You can listed to the clip here (starts at 20:30):

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