An Ottawa citizen has filed a lawsuit claiming up to $10 million in damages against the organizers of the trucker convoy that has parked itself in the city for over a week.
The lawsuit, filed by lawyer Paul Champ on behalf of resident Zexi Li, claims damages of $4.8 million for “private nuisance” and $5 million for “punitive damages.”
It is against organizers Chris Barber, Benjamin Dichter, Tamara Lich, Patrick King and up to 60 semi-truck drivers who have honked their horns in protest but whose names are unknown.
The lawsuit claims that for protesters to make their voices heard to politicians, the organizers made a plan to “make as much noise as possible” to cause discomfort to political leaders, and encouraged participants to “blast the horns on their vehicles, nonstop, for several hours.”
It claims that the honking has been co-ordinated and celebrated on social media, is in violation of an Ottawa noise bylaw, and is an act of mischief and disturbance.
The lawsuit says that air horns and train horns on trucks can reach up to 150 decibels and are only meant to be used for seconds at a time but have been used continuously for 12 to 16 hours a day.
This creates a “dangerous” sound level that can cause permanent damage to ears, the lawsuit states.
It says the noise has been “constant and excruciatingly loud” for the 6,000 residents that live nearby the protests and has caused “significant” mental stress and suffering.
“The non-stop blaring horns have caused unbearable torment in the sanctity of their own homes,” the lawsuit reads.
Li, the Plaintiff, is a 21-year-old public servant who lives within five blocks of Parliament Hill.
The lawsuit comes after Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly on Friday defined the protest now as an “occupation.” GoFundMe did the same after consulting authorities, effectively ending the fundraiser that raised over $10 million due to a violation of the terms of service.