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Court battle between Furlong and reporter far from over

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – What kind of battle in the courts do Laura Robinson and John Furlong have ahead of them?

Yesterday, the former VANOC CEO told the media he would not proceed with a lawsuit against the freelance reporter.  This is despite Robinson having filed her own defamation suit against Furlong early last year following the publication of an article she wrote that outlined claims of abuse by Furlong at a northern BC school 40 years ago.

She will have to prove words have been spoken publicly about her, and that they have a derogatory character, according to Vancouver defamation lawyer Marko Vesely, but she doesn’t have to prove they’re false.

As for Furlong’s lawyers, Vesely adds they may need to prove certain statements said, as fact, are true.

“To the extent that he can show that statements are matters of opinion, he will need to show that those were honestly made and without malice, on a matter of public interest.”

Vesely explains it isn’t uncommon for one party to continue with a suit even if the other party has dropped its own.

Robinson says she’ll continue her countersuit against Furlong, claiming it’s about her integrity as a journalist.  Her case will be heard in June.

On Tuesday, sex-abuse allegations against the VANOC CEO were thrown out of court because the 54-year-old plaintiff from Prince Rupert didn’t show up for the trial.