Former journalist Arthur Kent asked an Alberta judge Thursday to award him $1.2 million for his legal costs in a successful defamation lawsuit against Canada’s largest newspaper chain.
Kent, who got the nickname “Scud Stud” while reporting for NBC during the Persian Gulf war, won the lawsuit earlier this year against Postmedia and one of its columnists.
The judge awarded him $200,000 in damages for an unflattering article written by Don Martin in 2008. Kent received an additional $61,000 in interest.
Martin portrayed Kent, who was running for political office, as an out-of-control egomaniac who was a “dud” on the election trail.
“They’re here, strenuously opposing me gaining compensation. They’re telling the court don’t award Mr. Kent a dime of his costs for overcoming eight years of our defences,” Kent told Justice Jo’Anne Strekaf.
“Here you have one of Canada’s largest media organizations saying if you sue us, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith Canadian, you may get a judgment in a superior court in this country but we’ll make sure you pay for it handsomely,” he added.
“Here you have Canada’s largest English language newspaper company seeking to punish a successful plaintiff by denying him his costs.”
READ MORE: ‘Scud Stud’ defamation trial wraps up
In her June written ruling, Strekaf noted that Kent deserved more than nominal damages.
She said while the article did not accuse Kent of any illegal or immoral acts, it characterized him as an egotistical, politically naive, arrogant candidate whose campaign was in disarray.
“He suffered substantial distress and damage as a result of the defamatory factual statements in the article,” she wrote.
Kent also asked Strekaf for a permanent injunction preventing Postmedia and Martin from republishing the offending article.
Postmedia lawyer Brent Mescall said there was no reason why the chain would ever republish the article.
He said the costs being sought by Kent are unreasonable and that the judge found there was no malice on the part of Postmedia.
Mescall said the length of the court proceedings was partially a result of Kent’s conduct during the legal process.
“There’s no doubt the extension … was a direct factor of the manner in which the plaintiff carried out the lawsuit,” he said.
Mescall is expected to complete his arguments next week.