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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 160
March 13, 2010

This week's issue:
Human Rights advocacy
Human Rights analysis
Your Advocate
Law campaign
Law amusements
Law lexicon
Law Week

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Law amusements

Outrageous Lawsuits

Oh Canada!

Mr. Waddah Mustapha, a hairstylist from Windsor, native of Lebanon but residing in Ontario at the time of the alleged tort, claimed significant pscychological damages after seeing a dead fly floating in his unopened water bottle.
At no time in the litigation was the assault upon the poor little fly's person acknowledged. Indeed, it seems that he drowned anonymously. The SPCA did not intervene. For the purposes of this article, we will refer to the deaf fly as "David".

As for Mustapha
"In the course of replacing an empty bottle of drinking water with a full one, Mr. Mustapha saw a dead fly (David) and part of another dead fly in the unopened replacement bottle. He became obsessed with the event and its 'revolting implications' for the health of his family, which had been consuming water supplied by Culligan for the previous 15 years. The plaintiff developed a major depressive disorder with associated phobia and anxiety. He sued Culligan for damages."

On this basis, the perfect storm of an outrageous lawsuit began. First, the claim tied up the Court of Justice Brockenshire who awarded Mustapha over $300K in damages, clearly breaking open Canada's reputation as a safe haven for these types of claims. The decision was appealed where, in a presumably hermetically-sealed Courtroom, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the claim. Mustapha then took his case to Ottawa where a full bench of nine judges heard about David. On May 22, 2008, after well over $1-million in lawyer and expert fees, Court time and judge's salary spent, the ruling came down: "the loss suffered by the plaintiff, Mr. Mustapha, was too remote to be reasonably foreseen and that consequently, he cannot recover damages from the defendant" and the pesky ghost of David, then resting on the back of Canadian justice, was finally brushed off.


Source: www.duhaime.org.




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