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P.E.I. Subway franchises suing CBC over Marketplace broadcast about chicken

The company that owns 14 Subway franchises in P.E.I. is suing the CBC over a story it says made defamatory and false claims about chicken the restaurants sell.
The company that owns 14 Subway franchises in P.E.I. is suing the CBC over a story it says made defamatory and false claims about chicken the restaurants sell.

The company that owns 14 Subway franchises in P.E.I. is suing the CBC over a story it says made defamatory and false claims about chicken the restaurants sell.

Islandsand Holdings Inc. filed a statement of claim in P.E.I. Supreme Court on Aug. 24 seeking unspecified amounts in damages and costs over the alleged defamation.

The claim refers to an episode of the CBC program Marketplace, which Islandsand said included an allegation Subway misrepresented its oven-roasted chicken and chicken strips as healthy.

That broadcast also included statements that Subway chicken could be made up of less than 50 per cent chicken DNA.

Islandsand Holdings said in its claim the statements made in the Marketplace broadcast constituted an allegation that Subway franchises made intentional and profit-motivated misrepresentations.

“In their plain and ordinary meaning, the statements that were made during the broadcast are false and constitute a defamation of all Subway franchises, including the franchise locations owned and operated by Islandsand,” the statement of claim said.

The Islandsand Holdings’ claim said the CBC and several named employees should have edited out the allegedly defamatory statements in the Marketplace broadcast.

Islandsand Holdings said in its claim it gave notice to the CBC that included a request to retract the allegedly false and defamatory statements and to publicly apologize.

The CBC and its employees have not retracted the statements or apologized to Islandsand Holdings, the claim said.

Islandsand Holdings alleged it has suffered serious harm to the reputation of its businesses because of the statements.

The CBC has yet to file a statement of defence in the case.

A spokesman for the CBC said that because the matter was before the courts the network would not comment, other than to say it stands by its journalism.

The Islandsand lawsuit is not the only one related to the Marketplace broadcast.

In April, The Canadian Press reported Subway filed a statement of claim with a Toronto court alleging the CBC acted recklessly and maliciously in airing the Marketplace report.

Subway also alleged the tests on the chicken lacked “scientific rigour.”   

The CBC previously said it stood by its report and would defend itself against the Subway lawsuit.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

 

Ryan.ross@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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