Mike Thomas/Yukon News file The law courts in Whitehorse.

Women ordered to pay more than $800k in Dawson defamation case file appeal

A jury found earlier this year that Audrey Vigneau and Susan Hermann had made defamatory comments

Two women ordered to pay a former Dawson City couple more than $800,000 for defaming them during a spat over the title of a Dome Road house have filed an appeal.

Audrey Vigneau and Susan Hermann filed a notice to the Yukon Court of Appeal on March 11.

The women were sued for defamation by Angela and Michael Senft in November 2017. At the time, the Senfts were also suing a Dawson retiree, Daniele McRae, over the title to her house.

McRae had added the Senfts to the house title in 2010 but abruptly kicked them out in June 2017, which the couple said was unjustified.

The lawsuit against McRae was later dismissed by consent. However, before then, Vigneau and Hermann, who were friends of McRae’s, made statements about the Senfts in a GoFundMe campaign in support of McRae, social media posts, letters placed in mailboxes and comments to the CBC.

A six-person Yukon Supreme Court jury found Vigneau and Hermann had defamed the Senfts following a two-week trial earlier this year. It awarded the couple a total of $809,735.58 in damages, an amount believed to be the highest ever awarded in the Yukon for a defamation case.

In their notice of appeal, Vigneau and Hermann are asking for the defamation verdict and order to pay damages to be quashed and for the Senfts’ claims to be dismissed, or, in the alternative, for a retrial. The documents do not provide any specific arguments.

They’re also seeking the cost of the appeal.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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