Peter Nygard gains 2 court victories

Peter Nygard enjoys court victories. On Friday, Manhattan federal judge Cynthia Kern ruled that New York hedge fund tycoon Louis Bacon took too long to file a $100 million defamation suit against his Bahamas neighbour, Winnipeg fashion magnate, Peter Nygard.

The judge ruled that more than three-quarters of the alleged defamatory statements would be dismissed. The judge called them “time-barred,” for having occurred more than a year before the complaint was filed.

Meanwhile, On July 27 here in Manitoba, Nygard’s criminal prosecution suit for defamatory libel against the host of the CBC’s Fifth Estate, Bob McKeown, and two CBC producers was allowed to proceed after a 28-page decision was handed down by Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Douglas Abra.

First to New York where the two billionaires in court – Bacon and Nygard — have been in a decade-long dispute over beach access in the magnificent Lyford Cay community in Bahamas. According to court documents, Bacon, the founder and president of hedge fund giant Moore Capital Management, accused Nygard of “falsely portraying him as a racist, drug-trafficker and murderer.” His complaint contained 135 statements that he alleges were uttered or printed.

However, on Friday Judge Kern tossed 105 of the 135 allegedly defamatory statements Bacon says Nygard made on printed signs, in newspaper stories and in social media. Bacon claimed that Nygard made him out to be a “white supremacist” and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, a serial killer and a trader of inside stock information

Nygard’s legal team, led by attorney Aaron Marks, hailed the order as “a significant victory,” according to Reuters and the New York Post. Marks told both news agencies that, “the remaining claims are frivolous and will be similarly disposed.”

Amazingly, Bacon argued that he could not bring action against Nygard in a reasonable time because, according to the New York Post, “he only had suspicions and did not have any hard proof.” Judge Kern ruled that his claim was “without basis.”

Forbes Magazine claims Bacon has a net worth of $1.75 billion while Canadian Business Magazine’s 2014 poll of the richest Canadians estimated Nygard’s worth at about $1 billion.

Meanwhile, in the Manitoba suit, Nygard claims that our national public broadcaster knew in advance that people it was interviewing for a documentary that was allegedly pre-scripted to be unflattering toward Nygard, were not credible and, according to Justice Abra’s judicial decision, “the applicants all knew that some of the information that was being broadcast could indeed be false.”

In the courts on both sides of the 49th parallel, it was a very good week for Peter Nygard.

Scott Taylor

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