U of O prof wins libel case against Rancourt, awarded $350,000

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Ottawa Citizen

A University of Ottawa law professor dubbed a “house negro” by a former colleague won $350,000 damages in a libel action Thursday.

The six-member jury ruled that Denis Rancourt — a former physics professor who was fired by the University of Ottawa in 2009 — had libelled Joanne St. Lewis in two 2011 blog references.

The jury awarded St. Lewis $100,000 damages, plus $250,000 in aggravated damages for continued defaming remarks made by Rancourt after St. Lewis had launched legal action against him.

The court is now considering an injunction that would force Rancourt to remove all the offending references from social media and refrain from posting anything further about St. Lewis.

“I see it as a total victory,’ said St. Lewis’s lawyer Richard Dearden, “and a vindication of professor St. Lewis’s reputation.”

Before the trial began, Rancourt, who is representing himself, said he asked Judge Michel Charbonneau to recuse himself because he’s a…

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