Northwestel drops lawsuit against Orange Technology

Northwestel has dropped its libel lawsuit against the owner of a local IT company.

Northwestel has dropped its libel lawsuit against the owner of a local IT company.

Paperwork filed in Yukon Supreme Court last week says both sides consent to dismissing the case against Martin Lehner and the company he co-owns, Orange Technology.

Lehner confirmed the lawsuit had been dropped but said he had no other comment at this time. A Northwestel representative would not say why the company abandoned the lawsuit.

Northwestel filed the defamation lawsuit in January, arguing that Lehner made libellous statements in an interview with the CBC last year.

During the interview, Lehner claimed that a new fibre-optic line for the Yukon won’t solve all of the territory’s Internet problems.

He went on to talk about problems he said some of his clients had with their Internet.

According to the lawsuit, Lehner said one of his downtown Whitehorse clients experiences Internet outages lasting three to six minutes “about a dozen times a day on average.”

He also said other clients in the McRae area have outages “every single day.”

Northwestel disputed all of those claims. The company said the statements exposed Northwestel to ridicule, damaged its reputation and exposed it to possible sanctions from the CRTC.

Northwestel was asking for a court-ordered written apology and retraction as well as monetary damages for past and future losses.

Orange and Lehner countered that the statements were not defamatory against Northwestel because they “refer solely to Northwestel’s goods and services” and also because they are true.

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