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Canada: Court dismisses Allstate's defamation counterclaim to wrongful dismissal lawsuit filed by its employee

Author: CNW Group, Published on: 24 July 2019

"Joshi v. Allstate wrongful dismissal case affirms employees can speak to media about human rights abuses that are in the public interest", 23 Jul 2019

An Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled that when companies are alleged to have violated human rights and when employee whistleblowers call attention to discriminatory policies and practices, public interest trumps the interests of private corporations.  In dismissing the lawsuit for defamation Justice Kimmel stated "I am troubled by the cavalier attitude that Allstate has adopted in relation to this cause of action."...

Ms. Joshi was terminated by Allstate Canada on October 9, 2018 , for allegedly exposing discriminatory sales practices by speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation(CBC). Ms. Joshi says she learned of unwritten rules at Allstate to make selling car insurance policies drivers who live in Brampton, Ontario , more difficult than in other Toronto neighbourhoods, thereby she alleged violating the "all-comers" rule set by the insurance regulator...

Allstate Canada launched a counterclaim against Ms. Joshi for $700,000 , plus legal costs, for what they claimed were "damages to Allstate's reputation and goodwill."  It was this counter-suit which was dismissed by Madam Justice Kimmel, in her decision dated July 22, 2019 .

Ms. Joshi's lawsuit against Allstate can now proceed unimpeded by the counterclaim.

In her decision on Joshi v Allstate, Madam Justice Kimmel wrote that "qualified privilege" means that "…Ms. Joshi had a legal, social or moral duty" and that Ms. Joshi "…felt compelled to speak about what I have concluded is a matter of public interest. She would be one among a relatively small group of people who has knowledge, information and belief about the particular Allstate policy or practice in question."...

Read the full post here

Related companies: Allstate